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The Montana Chamber of Commerce is recognizing 27 legislators with its “Champion of Business” award for their work during the 66th Montana Legislature. Among those honored are Rep. Llew Jones, House District 18; Rep. Ross Fitzgerald, House District 19; and Sen. Butch Gillespie, Senate District 8. Senator Jeff Welborn of Dillon was named the Montana Chamber’s “Most Valuable Policymaker” (MVP) of the 2019 session.

“We are excited to recognize these lawmakers for going the extra mile to improve Montana’s business climate,” said Bridger Mahlum, government relations director of the Montana Chamber of Commerce. “In particular, Sen. Welborn led the charge on infrastructure legislation that was critical to the goals of the Montana Chamber and our strategic plan.”

The Champion of Business and MVP designations identify policymakers who stood up for job creation, free enterprise and economic development in 2019. To be named a Champion of Business, a legislator must earn a score that meets or exceeds 90 percent in the Montana Chamber’s Voting Review, supported the Montana Chamber’s top six priority bills, and sponsored no anti-business legislation.

The Montana Chamber’s 2019 Voting Review of the Montana Legislature and governor will be released Monday, Aug. 5.

“Thanks to the Montana Chamber for working shoulder to shoulder with Montana business owners in the public policy arena,” Welborn said. “As an elected policy maker, it’s an honor to stand with business owners in creating sound economic policy in our state. I believe a common sense approach achieves measured results creating more jobs, and in turn, benefits hard working families, schools, public infrastructure, and our overall economy.”

The 2019 Champions of Business will be featured during the 2019 Economic Update Series July 30-Aug. 1 in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Helena, Great Falls, Missoula and Kalispell.

The 27 Champions of Business are:

Rep. Fred Anderson, Great Falls

Sen. Duane Ankney, Colstrip

Rep. David Bedey, Hamilton

Rep. Edward Buttrey, Great Falls

Rep. Geraldine Custer, Forsyth

Rep. Julie Dooling, Helena

Rep. Ross Fitzgerald, Fairfield

Sen. Steve Fitzpatrick, Great Falls

Sen. Pat Flowers, Belgrade

Rep. Frank Garner, Kalispell

Sen. Terry Gauthier, Helena

Sen. Bruce Gillespie, Ethridge

Sen. Jen Gross, Billings

Rep. Bruce Grubbs, Bozeman

Rep. Kenneth Holmlund, Miles City

Rep. Mike Hopkins, Missoula

Rep. Llew Jones, Conrad

Rep. Joel Krautter, Sidney

Sen. Nate McConnell, Missoula

Sen. Tom Richmond, Billings

Rep. Walt Sales, Manhattan

Sen. Dan Salomon, Ronan

Sen. Jon Sesso, Butte

Rep. Ray Shaw, Sheridan

Sen. Jason Small, Busby

Sen. Jeff Welborn, Dillon (MVP)

Rep. Tom Welch, Dillon

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