Haler chosen as ranking Republican on House Higher Education Committee

Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, will serve as the lead Republican on the House Higher Education Committee during the upcoming 2011 legislative session.  Haler, who is serving his fourth term in the House after running unopposed in November, said his new committee assignments are very much in line with his passion and the region’s strengths.

“In my opinion, the state of Washington has absolutely the best colleges and universities in the nation,” Haler said.  “Our higher education system takes a back seat to no one and continually teaches, encourages and prepares our future state and national leaders.  Being a part of the higher education committee is something I pushed for and I’m extremely grateful our caucus leadership and my colleagues recognize the passion I have for this issue.”

The House Higher Education Committee considers issues relating to the state’s public and independent baccalaureate colleges and universities, public community and technical colleges, and private career schools.  Issues include governance and coordination of higher education, financial aid, tuition, distance learning, and the licensing of private colleges and career schools.

In addition, Haler will serve on the Technology, Energy and Communications Committee which considers deployment, regulation, and access to technology and electronic communications; energy availability, production, and conservation; and related infrastructure issues.

“The Tri-Cities region is a national leader in new, innovative solutions to energy independence,” Haler said.  “It’s important to have a regional voice when deciding policy that affects the technology, energy and communications sectors of our economy.”

Haler’s final committee assignment is to the House Ways and Means Committee, which considers the operating budget bill, global fiscal issues such as pension policy and compensation, and bills with larger fiscal impacts

“Obviously, with another multi-billion dollar budget shortfall projected for the 2011-13 biennium, the budget itself is going to take a huge amount of our time and efforts in Olympia,” Haler said.  “I intend to combine my passion for all aspects of education – from early learning to higher education – with my role in helping to shape the budget debate.”

The 105-day legislative session begins Jan. 10 in Olympia.


For more information, contact Brendon Wold, Senior Information Officer: (360) 786-7698


Washington State House Republican Communications