The Montana Chamber of Commerce recognized 27 legislators with its “Champion of Business” award for their work during the 66th Montana Legislature, including Reps. Ross Fitzgerald of Fairfield and Llew Jones of Conrad and Sen. Bruce Gillespie of Ethridge, all Republicans.

“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 a news release. “In particular, Sen. Jeff Welborn led the charge on infrastructure legislation that was critical to the goals of the Montana Chamber and our strategic plan.”

Welborn, a Dillon Republican, was named the “most valuable player” in the Legislature by the Montana Chamber.

The Champion of Business and MVP designations identify policymakers who stood up for job creation, free enterprise and economic development in 2019.

“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 working families, schools, public infrastructure, and our overall economy.”

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.