First legislative deadline

2019 legislative session • February 15, 2019 

The Current -- 2017 legislative session

Dear Friend:  

The weather dominated the headlines this week. While heavy snowfall is a way of life for our friends east of the Cascades, it paralyzes the Puget Sound region. After a snow day on Monday, the work of the Legislature resumed by Tuesday afternoon and concluded with committee meetings this afternoon.

I'd like to thank the buildings and grounds crew who helped clear snow, slush and debris on the Capitol Campus this week. As the picture below shows, they had their work cut out for them.

Weekly video update

As I mentioned last week, we are trying something new this session: Weekly video updates. I have been providing a quick recap of the week every Friday and posting the video to social media. The response has been great. You can watch today's video on YouTube here.  

The week ahead

As this calendar shows, our first legislative deadline -- policy committee cutoff -- is now just a week away. Any bill that deals with policy only has to advance out of its respective policy committee by February 22 or it's considered "dead." Although no bill is truly dead until the gavel drops on the last day of session.

With policy committee cutoff on Friday, expect a lot of House committee action next week. This link provides a look at the week ahead, including bills of interest. 

Reps. Jenny Graham and Alex Ybarra on TVW 

Our House Republican freshman class is dynamic. Two of our new members appeared on Inside Olympia last week. If you didn't get a chance to hear the compelling the stories of Reps. Jenny Graham and Alex Ybarra, I encourage you to do so. You can watch their segment here.  


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

The Capitol | February 11, 2019

The Capitol Campus on February 11, 2019. Photo courtesy of the Washington State House of Representatives.

Bad bills that would hurt workers, jobs

Our approach to the economy is to pursue policies that encourage employers to get started, grow and hire. We also want to make it easier for people to pursue their version of the American dream and what works best for their family.

We often hear from constituents who simply want the Legislature to "do no harm" and not place any more financial and regulatory burdens on them. Unfortunately, there are a number of bills -- sponsored by Democrats -- that would hurt workers and employers. Here are a few to watch:

  • House Bill 1491 would restrict scheduling options for employees and employers, which would be especially detrimental to the retail and hospitality industries.
  • House Bill 1515 would change the criteria for being classified as an independent contractor (versus an employee) for wage, tax and benefit purposes. This would force several different types of individual contractors to work as an employee, as opposed to being their own boss.
  • House Bill 1601 is similar to House Bill 1515, but would also create wage boards to set minimum wages and benefits by industry for independent contractors.
  • House Bill 1640 would prohibit pet stores from selling a dog or cat unless it is obtained from an animal care
    and control agency or animal rescue group.
  • House Bill 1395 would require general contractors to be responsible for subcontractors' payment of wages and benefits to the subcontractors' employees.

Breast cancer awareness

Most of us have either indirectly, or directly, dealt with some form of cancer. On Wednesday, many of us wore pink to support breast cancer awareness and our friend, Sen. Lynda Wilson, who is facing her last chemotherapy treatment. Like so many others who have batted this terrible disease, her fight has been inspirational. We are praying for you, Lynda.    

You can watch the video we created for Lynda here.

Members in the news

Our members work hard to reach out to the media and share their ideas on bills and issues, including participating in radio programs across our state. You can learn more about these efforts in the links below:

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Washington State House Republicans