Mark Hass

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Not to be confused with Mark Hasse, one of victims of 2013 Kaufman County murders.
Mark Hass
Mark Hass.jpg
Mark Hass' official portrait
Member of the Oregon Senate
from the 14th district
Assumed office
Preceded by Ryan Deckert
Member of the Oregon House of Representatives
from the 27th district
In office
Preceded by Ryan Deckert
Succeeded by Tobias Read
Personal details
Born (1956-12-10) December 10, 1956 (age 59)
Newport, Rhode Island
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Tamra (2 children)
Religion Presbyterian

Mark Hass (born December 10, 1956) is a politician from the US state of Oregon. A Democrat, he currently represents District 14 in the Oregon State Senate. Hass is best known as an outspoken advocate of state-sponsored higher education. In 2015, Senator Hass sponsored the "Oregon Promise", which provides debt-free community college to all Oregon high school graduates.

Early years[edit]

Hass was born in Newport, Rhode Island on Dec. 20, 1956 and moved to Oregon with his parents as a young boy. Growing up, he was a Boy Scout and even received the distinction of Eagle Scout.

In 1980, Hass graduated from University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. In 1981, he went on to earn his Master of Arts in Communication from the American University School of Communication.

Prior to serving in the legislature, Hass spent 20 years as journalist, most recently at KATU television from 1984 to 2000. He won an Emmy Award in 1998 for writing.[1]

Oregon legislature[edit]

Hass was selected in fall 2007 by the County Commissions of Washington and Multnomah counties to serve the remainder of Senator Ryan Deckert's term, following Deckert's resignation.[2] He was elected for a full term in 2008.

Hass is currently the Chairman of the Senate Education and Workforce Development Committee.[3] He's also a member of the Finance and Revenue Committee[4] and the Environment and Natural Resources Committee.[5] In addition, he serves as Senate Democratic Whip.

In 2011, Hass carried a bill (SB248) for full-day kindergarten, which replaces half-day kindergarten in Oregon public schools in the 2015-16 school year. In addition, Hass has become vocal about a restructuring the state’s higher education system. In 2011, as a member of the Higher Education Workgroup, he led the legislative efforts to pass SB 242, which provided greater autonomy for Oregon’s seven public universities. It also created the Higher Education Coordinating Commission.[6] During that same 2011 session, Hass led the passage[7] of SB 253, which put the 40-40-20 goals into state law. Those goals seek a workforce by 2025 that is 40 percent people who hold a bachelor's degree or higher, 40 percent who hold a two-year degree and the remaining 20 percent people who hold the equivalent of a high school diploma.

In 2013, after chairing a task force on University Governance, Hass carried more education legislation, namely SB 270, which established university boards of trustees at Portland State University, Oregon State University and University of Oregon.

Hass was also a chief sponsor[8] for legislation that made Oregon the first state in the country to require Automated External Defibrillators in large commercial buildings. Stemming from the well-publicized death of a 12-year-old boy in Beaverton, the bill passed with broad, bipartisan support.

Major accomplishments[edit]

During the 2013 Regular Session, Senator Hass carried Senate Bill 270, which created institutional governing boards for the schools in the Oregon University System and allowed for greater independence.

That same year, Hass was the chief sponsor of a bill that established the Accelerated Learning Committee, an institution promoting access to dual credit programs in Oregon high schools.

Hass has also been a pioneer in expanding access to subsidized higher education in Oregon. In 2015, Senator Hass was a chief sponsor of the Oregon Promise, which provides two years of community college debt-free to all Oregon high school graduates. In order to take advantage of the program, students must maintain a minimum GPA, participate in mentoring services, and apply within six months of high school graduation.

Personal life[edit]

When he’s not serving in the legislature, Hass works as an account manager for Cappelli Miles, an advertising and brand identity firm with offices in Portland, Eugene and Denver. Hass is also a part of the Board of Directors for the Northwest Health Foundation.

Hass' wife, Tamra, who grew up in Pendleton, is a speech pathologist who has spent the last ten years specializing in helping children with autism and Aspergers Syndrome. She has co-written two books and CD manuals.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]