Capitol Report: Q&A with Rep. Mike Jackson
BY WAYNE GREENE World Senior Writer
Sunday, February 24, 2013
2/24/13 at 3:08 AM
Family: Married to Kara for 11 years; two daughters: Cadence, 3, and Delaney, 9 months.
Occupation: Legislator and consultant.
You became the House Speaker Pro Tem this year, making you the second-ranking member of the House and a member of every committee. How is the pace different this year than last?
It is a much quicker pace. You have to stay on top of almost every bill as things are moving through the process, because you might be called in at any time, and you want to make an educated vote. You are asked a lot more questions.
You preside over the House now.
This is the first time I've ever presided. In the past, I've also served as the majority whip ... I think we are easing into the session very well. At this point ... I have seen a lot of legislation is moving a lot quicker earlier, which in my estimation is a good thing. ...
You led a committee that rewrote some of the key rules for the House. Which do you expect will make the biggest difference?
The calendar committee (in which a bipartisan committee determines what bills are considered by the House, a power formerly controlled by the majority floor leader) is the signature change to what has been done in the past. It's an area that we have never focused on. It's not new territory, but it's something that members have kind of been clamoring for the past couple of years.
Why would legislative leaders give up their power to control the agenda?
It allows for a more open process ... but I do believe there is plenty of power remaining with the speaker and the floor leader to make sure we have the ability to govern. ...
You were a field representative for Sen. Jim Inhofe. What's the most important political lesson you learned from him?
Listen to your constituency.
What are they telling you now?
I'm not really getting too much pushback. I'm getting a lot of emails ... about guns and schools and that whole situation, probably from the incident in (Newtown) Connecticut. I'm also getting a lot of stuff on workers comp and wanting it to change to a more administrative system. ...
Original Print Headline: Q&A: Rep. Mike Jackson