Senator Mark Hass
Democrat - District 14 - Beaverton
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE, S-207, Salem, Oregon 97301
This Legislative Session, I am focusing my efforts on reforming Oregon's tax system to make it more fair, practical and effective. As chair of the Senate Revenue Committee, I'm extremely familiar with volatility in the Oregon tax code. We need to stabilize our revenue and simplify the complexities. We need a system that funds education and other services in good times and bad times.
Tax reform is one of the most difficult policy issues in the legislature. But in the wake of last year's divisive debate over Ballot Measure 97, I think my colleagues and Oregonians are ready to make some changes—as long as they are reasonable and bipartisan.
In the 2015 Legislative Session, I championed the Oregon Promise. It says that if you keep your grades up and graduate from high school, we promise to provide you with two years of community college without borrowing a dime.
So far the results of the Oregon promise have been exceptional. The program provided funding to thousands of high school graduates who would have otherwise been discouraged. It leans heavily on Federal Pell Grants that otherwise would have been directed to other states. Bottom line—the Oregon Promise helped students invest in their futures without taking on crippling debt. This session, I will work relentlessly to fully fund the Oregon Promise for the next biennium and years to come.
As a former journalist, I place a high value on government transparency. My position on the Senate Committee on General Government and Accountability allows me to promote open and responsible government. My goal this year is a comprehensive public records law that keeps government open and transparent to everyone in Oregon.
I am blessed to have so many thoughtful people in my senate district – I hear from you often. Keep it up.