REDMOND, OR -- After a contentious Legislative session, State Representative Jack Zika (R-Redmond) says he’s ready for more. The freshman lawmaker admits the 2019 session wasn’t what he expected, "It was a little more partisan than I thought it was going to be. You walk in the building thinking you’re going to come together and your input is going to be meaningful and you’re going to make a difference. And then, you come to find out that sometimes the majority party doesn’t care what you think when you’re in the minority, and they don’t want your input, and they don’t even care if you vote for the bill." But, he tells KBND News there were successes, like passage of his Redmond affordable housing bill, and funding for a Deschutes County sober center.
Zika expects some familiar issues to be raised during the short session in February, which he calls the regular session on steroids, "Because you have less time; you have 30 days or 45 days to do it in. So, I am sure we will see rent control come back. The sales tax is for gross receipts tax of businesses that make over a million dollars; they already wanted to push it down to $750,000, so I’m sure that’ll probably come back. Cap and trade is obviously going to come back, but that’ll be a different form." During the interim, between sessions, Zika serves on two task forces: one looking at racial disparities in housing and the other investigates harmful algal blooms.
Despite the struggles he says he faced as part of the super minority, Zika already plans to run for re-election in 2020, "It was a challenging session but it was very rewarding, and it was an honor and a privilege, and I would be honored to do it again. I think there’s a lot of good things that we did accomplish in this session: we brought some money in for COCC, and we brought money back for the Deschutes Water Basin to help pipe some irrigation lines, and also the High Desert Museum got some funds to improve that museum, along with the housing bills that I got passed; so I think I have a lot to add."