Senator Stan Rosenberg was unanimously elected by his colleagues to be the 93rd President of the Massachusetts Senate on January 7, 2015. Since his first election, Senator Rosenberg has remained deeply committed to improving the lives of the people of Massachusetts. He is the first Jewish and first openly gay legislator to lead the Massachusetts Senate in its over-three-hundred year history.
A 1977 graduate of UMass Amherst, where he earned a B.A. in Community Development & Arts Management, Rosenberg began his work in public service as an aide to former State Senator and longtime Congressman John Olver. He was first elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1987.
Rosenberg was then elected to the Senate in 1991, where he has been entrusted by his colleagues time and again with leadership positions such as Majority Leader, President Pro Tempore, and Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.
To fellow residents of the Pioneer Valley, Stan is known as an accessible, responsive leader and champion of affordable and world-class education, fair taxation, government transparency, and environmental protection. He played a key role in the passage of many groundbreaking bills guaranteeing equality before the law in the Commonwealth. Stan was a chief strategist behind the passage of a 2000 bill aimed at curtailing racial profiling, and after the Supreme Judicial Court legalized same-sex marriage in 2003, he was a key leader in the fight on Beacon Hill to preserve that newly won right.
Stan has been a consistent advocate for increasing access to government and participation in our democracy. As chair of the Election Laws Committee, he coauthored the 1993 “Motor Voter” law, an overhaul of our election laws to modernize our system and boost voter turnout. He was twice tasked with redrawing the Commonwealth’s political boundaries as Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Redistricting. Under Stan’s leadership, the new boundaries were enthusiastically accepted, unlike in many states which found themselves mired in costly lawsuits. Stan was lauded for the exceptionally transparent process in 2010-11, resulting in the creation of new minority-majority districts that better reflect the changing demographics of the Commonwealth.
Stan’s attention is never far from economic policies and job creation. As Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways & Means, he passed a long-overdue wage hike for the Commonwealth’s lowest-paid human service workers. Stan played a key role on the Dairy Revitalization Task Force, which began efforts to strengthen our dairy industry and assist Western Massachusetts farmers. In 2009, at the height of the “great recession”, Stan coauthored a comprehensive package of fiscal relief for our cities and towns. As chief architect of the 2011 law establishing expanded gaming, Stan ensured we learned from the successes and failures of other states by conducting impartial research and writing a law that guaranteed local participation.
To his neighbors, Stan is a humble and hardworking man who shares their progressive values and possesses a strong moral compass towards what is fair and right. He can often be found at church suppers, community meetings, farmers’ markets, and pie auctions across the Pioneer Valley and North Quabbin. In his spare time he enjoys gardening, reading, traveling, languages, and cooking – especially his “famous” tomato sauce. He lives in Amherst with his spouse Bryon Hefner.
Education & Public Service
- Revere High School
- University of Massachusetts/Amherst
- Massachusetts Senate, 1991 – present (First Assistant Majority Leader, 1999 – 2002, President Pro Tempore 2003 – 2013, Majority Leader 2013 – 2015)
- Mass. House (1987-'91)