In the Legislature
Senator Roger Manno was sworn-in to the Maryland State Senate on January 12th, 2011, after previously serving four years in the Maryland House of Delegates.
Roger serves as Senate Chairman of the Spending Affordability Committee, and at 48 years of age, is the youngest senator to ever chair the important committee. Roger is also a member of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and its Health and Human Services Subcommittee and Pension Subcommittee. He is the only freshman Senator on the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, the only attorney in the majority, and the first Senator from the 19th District to ever serve on the important committee.
Roger also serves on the Joint Committee on Federal Relations, the Joint Committee on Pensions, the State Advisory Council on Hereditary and Congenital Disorders, the Maryland Alzheimer's Disease and Related Disorders Commission, and is the Senate Chairman of the Maryland Task Force to Study Financial Matters Relation to Long-Term Care Facilities, the Pesticide Reporting and Information Workgroup, and the Maryland Youth Advisory Council.
The youngest state senator representing Montgomery County, he was recently elected by his colleagues to serve as Vice Chair of the Montgomery County Senate Delegation, the largest delegation in the Maryland Senate.
In 2009, Roger was appointed to serve on the Working Group of State Legislators for Health Reform. Convened by President Obama's White House, the Working Group played an active role in advising the White House during the development and implementation of the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" -- the largest expansion of health care since the implementation of Medicare. Outside of the legislature, Roger serves on the national steering committee of the Leadership Conference for Guaranteed Health Care, and the board of B'nai B'rith International (Chesapeake Bay Region). During his term in the House, Roger served on the Economic Matters Committee, the Business Regulation Subcommittee, the Property & Casualty Insurance Subcommittee, and the Consumer Protection & Commercial Subcommittee. Roger also served as Vice-Chairman of the County Affairs Committee of the Montgomery County Delegation, and was appointed by House Speaker Michael Busch as the House designee on the Maryland Task Force to Implement Holocaust, Genocide, Human Rights & Tolerance Education in which Roger worked to create a Center of Excellence at Towson University. lastly, Roger served on the BioTech Caucus, the Educators Caucus, and the Veterans Caucus, and was selected to be the House designee on the (Maryland) Workgroup on Genetic Testing. His extensive work and advocacy earned Maryland's highest marks, including: "2009 Hero of Working Families" (receiving the highest legislative rating in the State) by the Progressive Maryland Education Fund (PMEF); "2008 Legislator of the Year" by the Washington D.C. Building and Construction Trades Council (AFL-CIO), on behalf of the Council and 17 affiliated unions; "2008 Champion of Working Families;" "Consumer Rights Hall of Fame" by the Maryland consumer Rights Coalition; and is one of only two legislators in the entire state to receive a 100% "Lifetime" Environmental Rating from both the Maryland League of Conservation Voters and Environment Maryland.
Throughout his tenure in the legislature, Roger has earned Maryland's highest honors, including: Labor Legislator of the Year (2008 and 2012), Hero of Working Families, Champion of Working Families, Maryland Consumer Rights Hall of Fame, numerous certificates of appreciation and honorable mentions, and he has the unique distinction of holding the No. 1 "Lifetime Environmental Rating" in the Senate by both the Maryland League of Conservation Voters and by Environment Maryland. In 2012, Roger received the "Adrian Theophilus Westney Religious Freedom Award" by the Adventist Columbia Union Conference. In 2013 he received the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy's "Shofar Award," and in 2014 he received Legislator of the Year for expanding Medicaid pediatriacric reimbursements from the Maryland Anesthisiologists Association. Lastly, Roger was named an honorary member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union (IBEW Local 26, AFL-CIO) for his tireless work advancing skilled-labor opportunities in Maryland. Notably, he is only the third person to have been made an honorary member, and is the only elected official in the union's 120-year history to be receive such an honor.
He has successfully authored numerous important laws, including: "Jake's Law," among the toughest distracted driving laws in the nation; the "Genetic Non-Discrimination Act", addressing health care discrimination in obtaining insurance; the "Apprenticeship Opportunities Act", addressing skilled labor workforce development opportunities; the landmark "Shift Breaks" bill, guaranteeing adequate paid rest breaks for retail employees; the "Retaliatory Evictions" reform bill (SB 620), strengthening protections for home renters; the "Phosphorus Penalties" bill (SB 751), strengthening environmental penalties for violations of the 2007 ban; the "Security Clearance Tax Credit" bill, a $2 million annual tax credit for workers and businesses seeking high-security federal contracts; the "Montgomery County Housing Opportunities Commission labor contract" bill (MC 814-08 / HB 946); the "Homeowners' Tax Fairness In Eminent Domain Proceedings Act"; the "Maryland Organic Transition Investment Opportunities Act"; expansion of the "Maryland Antitrust Act"; hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding for the Homecreast House senior assisted living facility, the Silver Spring Jewish Center, the Cardinal McCarrick Center, St. Luke's House; and State Budget amendments to advance pensions, health care, women's reproductive rights, "aging in place" funding for Seniors, and other social services.
In addition, Roger authored many other important initiatives, including the "Medicare Prescription Drug Donut Hole Tax Assistance Act," which led to the nation's first state subsidy program for senior citizens in the Medicare "donut hole"; the "Workplace Religious Freedom Act," the "Oil Sands Responsibility Act," the "Small Business Health Insurance Stimulus Act," the "Loan Assistance Repayment Program for Medical Professionals" bill, the "Heroes Housing Initiative," among many others. A staunch advocate for the rights of special needs children, the elderly, and differently-abled individuals, Roger created and funded the $250,000+ (Senator) "Roger Manno Scholarship Fund for Students with Pervasive Developmental Disorders and Other Special Needs." In all, Roger has authored more laws signed by the Governor than any 19th District legislator throughout his tenure in office.
Roger is an attorney-at-law in Maryland, and is also licensed in the District of Columbia and in federal courts. Prior to his election to the legislature, Roger served as a Legislative Director and Legislative Counsel/Senior Counsel in the United States Congress. In that capacity Roger drafted numerous legislative initiatives, including: legislation ensuring thorough health care screenings for all U.S. troops; several post-9/11 Homeland Security bills and amendments strengthening security and civil rights; alternative U.S. Budgets sponsored by the Congressional Black Caucus; and was an organizer of issue forums for the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference. Additionally, as a staff member handling International Relations issues and Foreign Operations Appropriations, in 2005 Roger traveled to Israel with a congressional staff delegation during Israel’s "Disengagement" from Israel's West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Immediately following the attacks on September 11, 2001, Roger served as a key staff member on the House of Representatives Homeland Security Task Force (Democratic Caucus), drafting Homeland Security amendments and alternatives to The Patriot Act. While his work dealt with a broad range of Homeland Security issues, his specific contributions were in the area of Domestic Law Enforcement.
In 2004, Roger was appointed to Montgomery County’s Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission by the Montgomery County Executive, and was reappointed. Commissioner Manno helped oversee the county criminal justice and law enforcement agencies, and advised the County Executive on criminal justice policy.
Prior to law school Roger worked in public schools with academically, emotionally, and socially challenged special-needs students.
Roger earned his law Juris Doctor / Masters of Intellectual Property degree from Franklin Pierce Law Center (University of New Hampshire) and was the Chair of the Democratic Law Caucus.
He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Hunter College with a degree in Political Science / Black & Puerto Rican Studies, and was an active member of the Hunter Senate. During college, Roger also served as an intern in the White House (Clinton Administration), the New York State Supreme Court, and the New York State Senate.
2006, 2010 and 2014 Elections
Roger was uncontested in the 2014 Democratic Primary election to the State Senate, before defeating Felix Gonzalez (R) by 67.7% in the General Election. Roger's election to the State Senate came after defeating incumbent Michael G. Lenett (D) by 54.2%-45.8% in the Primary Election before defeating Don Irvine (R) by 68.02%-31.76% in the General Election. Of the 1,167 state senate seats at stake nationally in 2010, Roger was one of only 12 Democrats to defeat an incumbent Democrat state senator, and one of only 16 candidates of any party nationally to defeat an incumbent state senator. In 2006 Roger finished first in the eight-person Primary Election for the House of Delegates with the highest vote total of any candidate running for either the House or the Senate. In 2010 Roger finished first in the contested Primary, and was also the top vote-getter in the General election (House and Senate), and in 2014 Roger received more Primary Election votes than any House or Senate candidate on the ballot from either party.
In 2013, leading up to Maryland's contested 2014 gubernatorial primary election, Roger Manno was on Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown's "short list" to be Brown's "Lieutenant Governor" running mate. In the 2014 Genaral Election, Roger was also highly touted in media reports for an appointment in the Brown Administration as Secretary of Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation.
Throughout the 2014 electoral cycle, and across the 32 state lawmakers from Montgomery County, Roger is among the highest contributors to Democratic candidates and organizations around the state. These include contributions to the contested elections of: Anthony Brown for Governor ($6,000); Brian Frosh for Attorney General ($2,000); Nathaniel McFadden for State Senate ($3,000); Joan Carter-Conway for State Senate ($1,000); Marice’ Morales for House of Delegates ($6,000); and $25,000 to the Maryland Democratic Senatorial Committee, which funds highly contested Democratic State Senate races across the state.
Roger is married to his childhood sweetheart, Marjorie. Roger's immediate family reside in New York City, where his sister attends law school. Roger, Marjorie, and their two cats, Chester and Ms. LuLu, live in the upper Silver Spring area bordering Olney and Sandy Spring. They are members of Temple Emanuel in Kensington, Maryland.