Name: John Cosgrove
Race: Senate, 14th District
Website: Senator John Cosgrove
Why should residents re-elect you to the Virginia Senate?
I have served the constituents of the 14th Senate District since 2013 and have worked diligently to represent them in Richmond. I have visited all the areas of my district many times during my term in the Senate, and I truly enjoy meeting the fine folks who live in the district. I have lived in the 14th District since 1989 and I served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 2002 until my election to the Senate in 2013.
Having worked hard to develop relationships with other legislators, especially the legislators who represent the Hampton Roads area, I am able to bring consensus to many areas of concern when considering bills during the General Assembly sessions. Working across the aisle is critical to accomplishing legislative goals that will benefit my constituents, and I have served as the Hampton Roads Legislative Caucus Chairman for several years.
Providing protections for our public safety personnel is very important to me, and I have also worked to provide raises to our public school teachers. I also spoke passionately to establish the cabinet position of Seal Level Rise and Coastal Resiliency Officer in the governor’s office so that we can proactively prepare for sea level rise and flooding in Hampton Roads.
As chairman of the Virginia Joint Commission on Technology and Science, I am able to work with all levels of Virginia’s technology sectors and provide guidance to increasing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in our schools and to help develop new businesses that are on the cutting edge of technology. The jobs created by these new companies are extremely well-paying jobs and they provide the employment opportunities that are needed for our veterans and students here in Hampton Roads.
What is the biggest issue facing your district, and how do you plan to address it?
Education and transportation are always the biggest issues facing any district. We have worked to provide better schools, teacher’s salaries, and to work with educators to determine which methods to best use in educating our school children. Transportation projects are well underway to expedite traffic throughout the Hampton Roads region, and these improvements will continue with the help of the Hampton Roads Transportation Accountability Commission, of which I am a member assigned by the Senate of Virginia.
What was the most important vote taken in the General Assembly in 2019, and why?
Actually, there were two votes of significant importance taken in the last session. First was the vote to return over $1 billion to the taxpayers of Virginia due to the change in federal filing rules. We believed, and still do, that this money should be returned to those who paid the extra taxes, and that those funds should not be kept by the state and spent on additional programs.
The second bill of real importance was the bill I carried to ensure that three types of cancer would be presumed to be caused by the duties of our firefighters. There are multiple cancers that are already presumed to be caused by exposure to toxic materials and fumes in fires, but three that were not covered were brain, colon, and testicular cancer. This bill, Senate Bill 1030, was passed by both chambers, but has a reenactment clause which means that we must vote on it again in order to make it the law of the Commonwealth. I will work tirelessly to pass this bill for our first responders. They are always there for us, and we must be there for them and their families in their time of need, should they develop these devastating illnesses.