The Transylvania Times -

State Lawmakers Return To Raleigh For New Session – Transylvania County, NC


Last updated 1/13/2021 at 3:31pm

State lawmakers, including Republicans N.C. Sen. Chuck Edwards and N.C. Rep. Jake Johnson, are back in Raleigh, with the General Assembly convening yesterday.

In the Senate, Edwards represents District 48, which includes Transylvania, Henderson and Buncombe counties. Edwards has been appointed to the following committees: Agriculture, Energy and Environment (chair), Commerce and Insurance (chair), Appropriations on Agriculture, Environment and Natural resources (chair), Finance, Judiciary, Redistricting, and Rules and Operations of the Senate.

“My legislative work plan for this session includes about 40 items,” Edwards said. “At the top of the list is to restore N.C. citizens’ faith in the election process. While our election was not called into question to other states’ extent, we still must do better.

“The budget this year will be one of the most difficult in years. Due to the pandemic and the inconsistent and unfair demands on businesses, our revenue is expected to be much less than that to which we have grown accustomed. Tough choices need to be made. Next, we must clarify what our governor’s power should be when we are in a state of emergency and for how long an executive order can remain in place without review by another governing authority. Legislative and congressional maps must be redrawn this year, and I have been appointed to the committee responsible to do that.

“At the top of my list is to introduce legislation that will require local governments like Asheville to adequately fund their police departments. Recent crime numbers reveal that defunding police is not a good idea.”

In the House, Johnson represents District 113, which includes Transylvania, Henderson and Polk counties.

As of Tuesday evening, House members had not received their committee assignments.

Johnson highlighted his following priorities for the district and state:

•“Revamping the Commerce Tier System to accurately reflect the infrastructure and economic needs of rural counties, like Transylvania. This will put Transylvania County in a much better position to leverage state funds and draw private investment.”

•“I plan to be extremely involved in the budgeting process and be respectful of the taxpayers’ money. Given the challenges of the past year, it is more important now than ever to put together a fiscally responsible budget and keep taxes low, so people can keep more of their hard earned money.”

•“Do all I can to get our small businesses and schools back to some sense of normal in a safe and responsible way. I do not agree with the governor on his approach to ‘one size fits all’ shutdowns, but understand that in a split government, where we do not have the votes to override his decisions nor do we have the votes on the Supreme Court for a legal challenge, myself and my Republican colleagues will have to work with the governor to make any progress on getting things reopened. I will resubmit my plan to the governor on reopening with certain restrictions on a regional basis.”

•“Make sure we respect the will of the people and work on common sense election reforms that restore confidence in our election process. Election integrity should not be a partisan issue.”


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