Jones receives Champion of Business award

By Adam Jerome, I-O Reporter
Jones receives Champion of Business award   Recently the Montana Chamber of Commerce released its 2009 Voting Review of the 61st Legislative Session.  The review is the most comprehensive look at the business and economic issues addressed during the 90-day session.
   Over 100 bills are included in the scorecard, which received national recognition for its scoring methodology after the 2007 session.
   In our county, economic issues have taken center stage as we try to dig our way out of a recession the likes of which we’ve rarely seen in the United States.
   Here in Montana, economic issues have always been extremely controversial as we try to find a balance between our state’s environmental moniker, “The Last Best Place”, and our economic history of extractive industry.  
   Montana has consistently ranked near the bottom in economic growth and wages.  
   The issues our country are dealing with in the last year are nothing new to Montana, yet somehow with all our problems Montana seems to be dealing with the recession better than some states such as our neighbor to the southwest, California.  
   As of May of this year Montana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.3 percent as opposed to the national rate of 9.4 percent.
   With all of Montana’s economic issues it makes it all the more pleasing to announce that our very own Legislator in House District 27 Llew Jones has been named one of the “Champion of Business” award recipients.  
   The award is given to eight members from each the Senate and the House of Representatives.
   To be considered for the “Champion of Business” award, the chamber used the following criteria: (1) the legislator must have a higher Business Score than the P-base District score, which is the indicator of how pro-business the legislator’s constituents are; (2) no sponsorship of anti-business legislation; (3) the legislator must have either sponsored a piece of pro-business legislation or carried a pro-business bill on the floor; and (4) the legislator must have voted in favor of overriding the Governor’s veto of SB-371, the Montana Chamber’s top priority for the session.
   The bills that Rep. Jones sponsored to be considered for this award were HB-483: Revising Laws Governing the BER for Energy Projects and HB-529: Generally Revise MEPA.