An attack on the self-employed

2019 legislative session • February 1, 2019 

The Current -- 2017 legislative session

Dear Friend:  

This week began with scary news that one of our colleagues, Rep. Bill Jenkin, had suffered a heart attack on Friday. The good news is he underwent successful surgery on Monday. Bill sent out a statement two days later saying he is on the road to recovery.

Bill's committee assignments will be covered by other members on a temporary basis. Rep. Chris Gildon will temporarily replace him as our ranking member on the House Housing, Community Development and Veterans Committee. We look forward to Bill's recovery and return.   

Economic Sense from Sen. John Braun

I have developed a lot of friendships in my time in the Legislature. Someone I consider a good friend is Sen. John Braun

I'm not sure any state lawmaker understands the operating budget better that John, who puts forth innovative, substantive proposals that are respected on both sides of the political aisle. Here's a link to a recent edition of his Economic Sense, which highlights a bipartisan proposal to increase community mental health capacity.

In John, and new House Republican budget lead Rep. Drew Stokesbary, we have two brilliant fiscal leaders who will fight for the Republican priorities of accountable government and responsible state spending. This has never been more important than now with new Democratic majorities in the Legislature.         

Rep. Gina Mosbrucker

Rep. Gina Mosbrucker joined our Leadership Team this year, serving as Vice-Caucus Chair. She is also our ranking member on the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee.

In addition to these roles, Gina continues to champion important causes for the most vulnerable in our society. This week, her leadership was on full display. I encourage you to learn more about her efforts in the stories below.    


Rep. J.T. Wilcox
House Republican Leader
(360) 786-7912

An attack on the self-employed

I think we all know Republicans are known for their support of small business -- because many of us come from this background. This week, self-employed individuals got to witness, firsthand, who supports them in the Legislature. 

Hair designers and cosmetologists rally at the Capitol

In one the most impressive grassroots campaigns I've seen in my time in Olympia, hundreds of hair designers and cosmetologists, many who operate as a sole proprietor or individual contractor, came to the Capitol to fight against legislation that could force them to work for an employer – as opposed to being their own boss.

Two of these measures, House Bill 1515 and its companion Senate Bill 5513, are sponsored by Democrats. These bills are fundamentally unfair and House Republicans are united in their opposition against them. I joined Gina for a video on Monday to explain our concerns. 

Other self-employed individuals could be impacted

Gina shot another video with Floor Leader Jacquelin Maycumber on Tuesday to emphasize that these bills could also hurt other self-employed individuals. 

Here are some of the groups who signed in to oppose House Bill 1515. It gives you an idea of just how many sole proprietors and independent contractors across our state could be negatively impacted. 

  • Associated Builders and Contractors
  • Associated General Contractors
  • Internet Association
  • Massage therapists
  • Pet care services
  • Physical therapists
  • Rideshare drivers
  • Washington Forest Protection Association
  • Washington Hospital Association
  • Washington Realtors
  • Washington Retail Association
  • Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association
  • Washington Technology Industry
  • Washington Trucking Association

Hearing set for Monday on House Bill 1601

Another measure to keep an eye on is House Bill 1601 (Creating the universal worker protections act). The bill, which will be heard in the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee on Monday afternoon, could also make it harder for many self-employed individuals to be classified as a sole proprietor or independent contractor. 

Rep. Gina Mosbrucker

Rep. Gina Mosbrucker takes questions from reporters.

Helping the most vulnerable in our society

Gina continues to be a champion for the most vulnerable. For example, she has sponsored legislation to: provide better care to sexual assault survivors; prioritize funding for rape kits; crack down on voyeurism; assist individuals with special needs during emergencies; and help identify missing Native American women. 

Gina joined me at our weekly Republican news conference on Wednesday. She discussed bills she is sponsoring that would: support victims of domestic violence; study youth suicide; and improve law enforcement response to missing and murdered Native American women. Here is a story that ran in the Yakima Herald on the last bill noted.    

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