Roslyn Tyler eager to continue serving 75th

Published 6:56 pm Tuesday, September 24, 2019


Eager to remain in service to the people of the 75th District, Del. Roslyn Tyler is seeking re-election this year in the Virginia General Assembly. Owing to the redistricting this past summer, Tyler’s territory now includes both cities of Franklin and Emporia, all of Southampton, Greensville and Brunswick counties, as well as part of Lunenburg County.

Del. Roslyn Tyler, a Democrat, seeks re-election to represent the people of the 75th District in Virginia. — Submitted

The Democrat recently spoke to The Tidewater News about some of her accomplishments and, should voters keep her in position, the goals to achieve on their behalf.

“I want to continue my service in the General Assembly,” said the 14-year delegate, who is now No. 19 in seniority among the 100 House of Delegate legislators. “I’ve worked very hard to represent my district in a bipartisan way.” She later added, “That’s what so important about being in the General Assembly,” she said. “People respect when you have integrity. Your experience is so important.”

Among those issues in her district:

• “As I go around, some of my citizens are very concerned about high-speed internet for businesses and families,” said Tyler, noting that when businesses come to tour locations for new sites, they ask about water, sewer and the internet capabilities. People who either already live in the district, or are thinking about moving there, also ask about such service.

• “Kindergarten through 12th grade education is one of my priorities,” she said, pointing out the work she did on House Bill 2363 enabled teachers to get a five percent raise, which was at or above the national average. This, according to research by her legislative aide Mary Beth Washington, resulted in Virginia teacher’s receiving their highest pay raise in 20 years.

That pay increase was something she had been fighting for a number of years. The Virginia Education Association even made her its legislative hero of the year.

“I was glad to fight for that,” said Tyler. “We desperately need to keep good teachers in school systems.” Further, “I serve on Capital Outlay, which allocates money for schools and colleges and buildings themselves. “We’re putting more money into school construction and we’re now conducting a study of what areas are most in need.”

• Working to make college more affordable is a related educational issue. Along that line, Tyler has worked to increase funding for vocational technical programs. “A lot of kids do not go to higher school. vo-tech is needed to build our workforce for businesses coming into the area. They can still make good money with a 2- and 3-year degree,” said Tyler, who added that large companies such as Dominion Energy and Enviva, as well as smaller businesses, seek out such skilled workers.

• Along that line, the legislator has been working toward creating higher paying jobs. “Constituents want to see businesses that are paying better salaries. They’re asking for businesses paying above minimum-wage,” she said.

• Speaking of work, the delegate sees herself as a strong advocate for farming, logging and forestry industry, which was verified when the Virginia Loggers’ Association presented her its President’s Award.

“My district is basically agriculture, which includes forestry and logging,” she said. “I’ve worked along with farmers and loggers over the past few years, protecting their properties. Brunswick County probably has largest number of loggers in the Commonwealth. I worked with Sen. Frank Ruff (R-15th) on their behalf, such as safety on the road for logging trucks. I have a 100 percent voting record of supporting farm families. The Virginia Farm Bureau gave me their endorsement.”

• Through the committees for Public Safety, the delegate has also been a longtime supporter of first responders. There are five facilities in her district, she said, that have law enforcement. “One of biggest concerns is the shortage of correction officers. It’s a constant battle to get their salaries raised. The average starting salary now is $33,000; before it was $29,000. The same for deputy sheriffs. They risk their lives every day.”

She and other legislators are working on obtaining compensation for firefighters. “We’re still trying to push that issue — ailments that develop in the line of duty. We’ retting closer to achieving that particular interest. It’s just a matter of putting money in the budget. Eventually, we going to get there. But I do know our public safety officers and I keep striving for them. If anybody needs an increase in salaries, it’s them.”

The delegate added that responsibility which has helped her is related to state finances.

“I’m glad to have been on the Appropriations Committee for two years. Everybody wants to get on,” she said, smiling. “We formulate the budget. Certain priorities we can address in our particular areas.” She later mentioned that included advocating and allocating for broadband initiatives.

• “We made strides with Medicaid Expansion, There are 3,500 people in my particular area who now have health care. It’s a win-win situation in my area and also the Commonwealth,” said Tyler, who wants to make such health care affordable for seniors, families and businesses, such as for their employees.

Asked if her challenger, Otto Wachsmann, should win, Tyler is philosophical about that possibility.

She said, “Everything happens for a reason. I will still be active in the community to advocate for people.”

Election Day is on Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Other accomplishments:

• She has served on the Education and Militia Police and Public Safety committees since 2006 and was appointed by the Speaker of the House to the House of Appropriations – Budget Committee.

• As a member of the House of Appropriations, she was instrumental increasing the salary for Correctional Officers and Deputy Sheriffs and attracting over $11 million to improve infrastructure and create jobs.

• As a medical profession, Tyler has worked consistently to make healthcare and prescription drugs affordable through Medicaid expansion to help the disabled, individuals with pre-existing condition and working families.

• Additionally, the delegate successfully led the bipartisan fight to protect hunting with dogs and sportsmen’s rights by defeating HB 1900.

• Tyler also serves on the Virginia Rural Center Board of Directors; the Joint Commission on Health; the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission; and is a member of the Legislator Sportsmen and Rural Caucus.


Roslyn Tyler is a graduate of Greensville County Public Schools. A graduate of Virginia State University and Old Dominion University. She is a small business owner and has been a physical therapist for 29 years at Southern Virginia Regional Medical Center in Emporia, Virginia. She grew up in Greensville County and resides in Sussex County. She was the first female elected to the Sussex County Board of Supervisors serving for 11 years and the first chairwoman. She is married to Rufus Tyler Sr., and they have four children, Rufus Jr., Ronecia, Rosche’ and Rameka.