Raleigh – Buncombe, Henderson, and Transylvania counties may have a real champion on their hands. At a time when the public is crying out for more accountability from government employees at all levels while some public employee groups are strenuously opposing even modest such efforts, Sen Chuck Edwards is proving a catalyst towards government transparency.
In North Carolina’s General Assembly current session, two bills are especially hot topics now. One is the bill to equalize the treatment of PPP loans to small businesses under state law. This bill essentially ensures pandemic-driven, emergency loans to be treated the same way under state law as they are under federal law. The other is The Government Transparency Act of 2021. This controversial legislation would, for the first time ever, give North Carolinians access to official reasons for the promotion, suspension, or termination of state and local government officials that they employ. Not just politicians, this bill is far reaching to include teachers all the way to law enforcement officers. 35 other states already do and the Senator appears keen for his home state to join. North Carolina State Senator Chuck Edwards is enthusisastically sponsoring both bills.
Considering the recent political opposition to the Government Transparency Act alone being mounted by the the Statewide Teachers’ Association (NCAE) and the State Employees’ Association (SEANC), just to name two, speaks to a certain kind of courage to Senator Edwards’ credit. Added to that, Edwards’s additional sponsorship of the PPP tax treatment legislation (HB 334) aims in helping small businesses despite receiving partisan criticism. Time will tell what the outcome of these efforts will yield, but it’s refreshing to see a politician making legislative strides for his Main Street constituents looking to bounce off recent government overreach restrictions due to the recent COVID 19 pandemic.