I'm fighting to make sure everyone has quality, affordable health care.
I know what it's like to live without health care. For me, it's deeply personal. That's why I fought to reduce the cost of prescription drugs for seniors, and worked with the Obama administration to craft the Affordable Care Act. In Annapolis, I took on the insurance companies and won - authoring new laws that ban health care discrimination, expanding cancer coverage for first responders, and advancing end-of-life care for seniors. For my efforts, I'm proud to have been named "Legislator of the Year" for increasing Medicaid pediatric funding, and to have received the "Distinguished Legislative Service Award" from The National Federation of the Blind. We've made a lot of progress, but our work will continue until every single Marylander has universal access to quality, affordable health care.
I'm committed to protecting the fundamental rights of women.
We've made great strides in advancing the fundamental rights of women in the workplace, the home and in the doctor's office - but we still have a long way to go. That's why I restored more than $9 million in funding for women's reproductive health services, and passed a new law banning genetic discrimination. And I'm proud to hold a 100 percent Pro-Choice rating by NARAL - because government has no place intruding on the reproductive freedom of women. I also co-sponsored the Lilly Ledbetter Pay Equity Act in Maryland, but as long as women continue to earn less than men for the same work, I will continue my advocacy to finally pass the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution - because there can be no equality in the workplace unless everyone is equal under the law.
I'm working to diversify our economy and strengthen our job market.
For me, there is no higher priority than fueling Maryland's economy to create the jobs that our families need. That's why I'm focused on diversifying our economy through investments in highly skilled sectors like Biotech, IT, life sciences, infrastructure, and rebuilding our once-thriving manufacturing sector.
I introduced and passed new Maryland laws that provided hundreds of millions of dollars in funding for K-12 education, increased the Earned Income Tax Credit by 20 percent, restored the Mortgage Interest Deduction, created the Security Clearance Tax Credit and the Apprenticeship Opportunities Act, and have restructured Maryland's tax code so that middle-class families and the working poor take home a greater percentage of their hard-earned money. Those investments have helped Maryland emerge from the recession with balanced budgets, AAA bond ratings from all three ratings agencies, some of the best schools in the nation, and more minorities, women and veterans in the workforce than ever before.
While I'm proud that we have restored 100 percent of the jobs lost during the recession, we must continue fighting to close corporate tax loopholes that drive jobs out of the state and the nation, and advance new solutions to bring those jobs back home to Maryland. With strong leadership, we can do it.
We need to help the seniors who built our community.
I authored new laws that protect seniors from retaliatory evictions, secured groundbreaking funding for an "Advance Directive Registry" in order to honor the medical wishes of patients who are incapacitated, and dedicated funding for blind and physically handicapped services. I passed amendments that allow seniors to remain in their homes rather than in institutional facilities, and took on the energy companies and the Public Service Commission until new service reliability standards became law. And I'll continue to fight to protect retirement income - the nest egg that you've worked so hard for.
I'm making government work better for everyone - not just the privileged few.
Government functions best when it is open, transparent and accessible to everyone. As Chair of the Spending Affordability Committee, I led the unanimous and bi-partisan fight in Annapolis to reform the Board of Revenue Estimates processes that have led to years of poor revenue forecasts that triggered mid-year service cuts outside the purview of the legislature. I have also supported other reforms to level the playing field - including banning campaign contributions from casino owners, strengthening ethics rules for legislators and lobbyists, and improving access to government records and proceedings. I worked across the aisle to sponsor tough accountability legislation for state agencies that violate repeat audit findings, and helped reform legislative vacancy and nomination procedures, special elections and public financing of elections.
Hardworking Marylanders deserve good jobs with good benefits.
That's why I'm fighting to address worker exploitation and the offshoring of Maryland jobs. I cosponsored legislation that raised the minimum wage, introduced the boldest manufacturing effort in Maryland history, authored legislation to address fair trade and currency manipulation, passed the law that now gives Maryland workers paid rest breaks, and increased apprenticeship job training throughout Maryland. Having twice been awarded "Legislator of the Year" by AFL-CIO unions, and named an honorary member of the largest AFL-CIO construction trade union in Maryland, I'll continue fighting day in and day out for the rights and benefits of public and private sector workers.
Click here to contact Roger Manno for more information on these or other important issues. Or call 301-858-3151.