Vargas Says Appointment to Ed Committee Timely for Haverhill

(WHAV News file photograph.)

Haverhill state Rep. Andy Vargas with Bill Macek on WHAV’s Open Mike Show Monday night.

New state Rep. Andy Vargas has been named to three legislative committees—one appointment is particularly timely for Haverhill.

Vargas, speaking on WHAV’s New Open Mic Show with Bill Macek, said his appointment to the Education Committee will be helpful as Haverhill addresses improvements in public schools.

“We are on the Education Committee which is obviously a top priority of mine. There’s been a lot of momentum in the City of Haverhill on our schools—the fact that we are getting a new superintendent, the Haverhill Education Coalition—there’s a lot of great energy around education heading in the right direction for us.”

Besides Education, Vargas has been named to Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure and State Administration and Regulatory Oversight. He said the latter plays a large role in helping to contain the state’s spending.

“It provides the opportunity to find avenues where the state can save money or be a little bit more efficient. I think that’s one of the things where we were always looking for (on the City Council) within the budget process—where can we invest the money that will save us long term,” he said.

An issue before the legislature receiving much attention right now is automatic voter registration, the state representative said. He explained there is a cost saving associated with the measure.

“It’s been shown that if we automatically register folks, it’s going to save us about $2 per person, on average, that registers by paper,” Vargas said.

Vargas said he is getting used to his Boston commute and getting around inside the State House. His initial focus is seeing what existing bills he can help shape.

“We’re coming in, we’re listening, we’re finding out what pieces of legislation are already in motion that we can get behind instead of duplicating efforts.”