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 is a member of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, serves as one of four Senators on the Health and Human Services Subcommittee, and is a member of the 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 Health Care Delivery and Financing, 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.
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, and in 2013 he received the Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy's "Shofar Award." 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: 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."
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 and 2010 Elections
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 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.
Roger is married to his childhood sweetheart, Marjorie. Roger's parents, Bea and John reside in New York City, and Roger's sister, Shana, now attends law school in New York after living abroad in Israel. 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.