Rep. Joe Schmick receives ‘Outstanding Legislator of the Year’ award from national small-business group

As a second-generation farmer and former small-business owner, Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, knows about the challenges, frustrations and rewards faced by employers around the state and his rural 9th Legislative District.   At a luncheon Wednesday in Tumwater where he was delivering the keynote address, Schmick was awarded “Outstanding Legislator of the Year” by the Washington state chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).Rep. Schmick receives   “What an extreme honor,” said Schmick, who was surprised by the announcement.  “When I was first elected to the Legislature, one of my highest priorities was to help enact policies that would get people working again; policies that would help the small, mom-and-pop enterprises that are so common in my district and throughout Eastern Washington.  That priority hasn't changed today.  I'm constantly asking myself, 'Is this bill going to help create jobs or further hamper our small businesses?'  And if a bill or rule is going to hurt employers – especially small businesses – 'How can I make this proposal better?'”   Patrick Connor, Washington state director of the NFIB, commended Schmick for fighting on behalf of small businesses, especially his efforts in helping shape how the state will implement Obamacare at the state and local level.   “We have 147 senators and representatives who claim they're friends of small business, but Rep. Joe Schmick's actions prove it every single day,” said Connor.  “Among his many accomplishments for Main Street was making sure we had a voice in shaping the state's new health-care exchange, which is ostensibly for the individual and small-business market. But until Representative Schmick demanded a presence for small business, bureaucrats and big insurance companies treated the exchange as their exclusive play pen.”   According to the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy, 98 percent of all businesses in Washington state are small businesses, which employ 53 percent of the private-sector workforce.  According to NFIB's quadrennial study, Small Business Problems and Priorities, “The cost of health insurance continues as the number one small-business problem, a position it has held for 25 years…  Health insurance costs for small firms have risen 103 percent in the last decade.”   For the 2011-2012 session for which he was named Outstanding Legislator of the Year, Schmick had a 100 percent, pro-small-business voting record.


Washington State House Republican Communications