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The man from TAKL: Senate majority leader appears in TV ad for employer

Republican Sen. Jack Johnson (R-Franklin) isn’t just the chamber’s majority leader. He’s also a TV pitchman for his employer, Takl.

“Growing a business is tough,” Johnson says in the ad, according to The Tennessean. “Sometimes you have to think outside the box.”

The Franklin based company is owned Willis Johnson (no relation to Jack Johnson), who gave $8,000 to Gov. Bill Lee’s gubernatorial campaign in 2018, the paper report.

Johnson was chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee when the panel first advanced a 2018 bill to exempt “marketplace platforms” like Takl, Shipt, TaskRabbit, Handy, and Postmates, from traditional employee requirements by declaring their workers to independent contractors.

The measure became law despite concerns raised by then-Gov. Bill Haslam’s administration that the measure threatened to unravel social safety net provisions for employees, including minimum wage requirements, overtime pay, health insurance, unemployment insurance, and worker’s compensation coverage.

The bill was sponsored by Senate Finance Chairman Bo Watson (R-Hixson). Johnson disclosed his role in a the company that could benefit from the law change, but did not abstain from voting in favor of the measure.

See the ad here.