Meet Mark Hass
Mark Hass is an Oregon State Senator from Washington County and Southwest Portland (District 14). He was elected in 2008 to a four-year term. Previously, he served in the House of Representatives from 2001 to 2007.
He is currently the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee and a member of Finance and Revenue Committee and the Environment and Natural Resources committee. In addition, he serves as Senate Democratic Whip.
His priority in the legislature has been the elusive goal of reforming Oregon’s tax structure so that it is less volatile and more stable.
He is best known as leader in education policy, authoring Oregon’s full day kindergarten bills and passing a new law (2009) that explores year round education in pilot districts.
Hass was also the driving force that makes Oregon the first state in the country to require Automated External Defibrillators in large commercial buildings. The law passed on bipartisan votes and stemmed from a tragic death of a 12-year-old boy in Beaverton.
In the House of Representatives, Hass was a key player on tax and education policy. His first bill passed into law (HB2421) created tax incentives for businesses to set up college scholarship programs for their employees. He also worked closely with senior groups in 2003 and 2005 to strengthen Oregon’s elder abuse laws.
Prior to serving in the legislature, Hass spent 20 years as journalist, most recently at KATU television from 1984 to 2000. He has received numerous awards for his reporting, including an Emmy Award in 1998 for writing.
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 board member of the Northwest Health Foundation – a Portland based foundation that provides grants and assistance to health care projects. Those projects range from research on the effects of second hand smoke to providing funding for nursing instruction.
He has also served as board member on the Beaverton Library Foundation.
In 1995, he founded the Hass Journalism Scholarship that provides help to Oregon High School graduates who major in journalism. The Hass Scholarship is administered by the Oregon Student Assistance Commission.
He earned a B.S. from the Journalism School at the University of Oregon and an M.A. in Communications from American University in Washington, D.C.
His 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 which are in high demand from teachers and parents.
They have a fourteen-year-old daughter, Isabelle, and a five-year-old son, Sam.