Buncombe, Henderson, and Transylvania counties have a real champion. At a time when the public is crying out for more accountability from government employees at all levels and when some public employee groups strenuously oppose even modest efforts to improve that accountability, Sen Chuck Edwards is proving to be a stand up guy and a big voice for government transparency.
In the current session of the North Carolina General Assembly, two bills are especially hot topics now. One is the bill to equalize the treatment of PPP loans to small businesses under state law, essentially to have those pandemic-driven, emergency loans treated the same way under state law as they are under federal law. And the other — The Government Transparency Act of 2021 — would for the first time ever give the North Carolinians access to reasons for the promotion, suspension, or termination of state and local government officials that they employ, from teachers to law enforcement officers, the same way 35 other states do. To his everlasting credit, our state Senator Chuck Edwards is sponsoring both bills.
The courage displayed by Senator Edwards is rare considering the political opposition to the Government Transparency Act alone being mounted by the the statewide teachers’ association (NCAE) and the state employees’ association (SEANC), to name just two. And Edwards hasn’t flinched.
Add to that Edwards’s sponsorship of the PPP tax treatment legislation (HB 334) to help our small businesses— for which he has been unfairly criticized — and it’s obvious that Edwards is a true champion on issues that matter to us all. Western North Carolina is lucky to have him.