News & Updates From Senator Edwards
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Dear District 48 Constituent,

Below you'll find the May edition of our newsletter. Through this newsletter, I hope to give you the chance to know and understand how each piece of legislation can affect our district and give you the opportunity to weigh in on current issues before the legislature.

As always, feel free to reach out to my office with any concerns. You can reach my Legislative Assistant, Danielle, at (919) 733-5745 or

Warm Regards,


Crossover is our pre-determined, self-imposed deadline whereby all bills- with only a few exceptions, must pass from one chamber to the other for further consideration in  the current biennium. To meet this year's deadline of April 27, the Senate debated and voted on approximate 60 bills on the evening of April 26. This session was clearly the most exhilarating I have experienced during my short time as your Senator. For a complete list of the actions taken on this adrenaline-charged evening [Click Here] .

The Senate's energy since that time is focused on finalizing the state budget to submit to the House for concurrence. My role in this process has been twofold:
  1. I serve on the Committee for Appropriations for General Government and IT. This committee will establish the budget for 27 state agencies. My experience as a business person, and previously as a business consultant where I have helped write hundreds of business plans has proved invaluable to me through this process. 
  2. To request, beg, plea bargain and insist to chairpersons of other committees to ensure that District 48 gets its fair share of funding for critically needed projects. In my next newsletter, I expect to include some very good news regarding my progress on this topic. 

This year's budget process is expected to be one of the most contentious ever for the General Assembly. Governor Cooper presented us a budget that added $1.1 billion dollars to the previous budget. At the same time, the Senate has proposed a $1 billion dollar middle class tax cut. The difference is sure to draw a veto from the governor. These conditions make it vitally important that the House and the Senate pass a budget where we know we will have the votes to override the inevitable veto. We expect to present and vote on the Senate budget this week. From there the negotiations with the House will begin.

HB13 addresses one of the most highly charged topics with which we have yet engaged this session, due largely to- imagine this- false information. While the General Assembly has funded the reduction of K-3 class sizes to the tune of about $100 million dollars over the past six years, the flexibility given to local school boards has not resulted in the desired lowered class sizes. The General Assembly responded in 2016 by requiring that specific reductions take place in the 2017-2018 school year. Many citizens falsely claimed that this was an unfunded mandate. Many school administrators falsely claimed they could not meet the requirements without hundreds of thousands of additional dollars.  

The Senate Education Committee on which I sit, employed a very inquisitive  approach to this problem and requested detailed spending information from each of the state's 115 school boards. A thorough review of this data revealed that the funding of these class reductions was used in other places. The Senate modified the House version of HB13 to ease into the requirement of lowered calls size over the next two years, as well as to require that school administrators submit specific, detailed, and timely information regarding their expenditures and progress towards lowered class sizes.

In addition to all the misinformation, I have been dismayed through the process because so many citizens did not acknowledge our ultimate goal, and recognize the critical issue to ensure that our third-grade students are prepared for the last several years of their education. Research repeatedly reveals that the performance of K-3 students dramatically marks their success in life. Lower class sizes will greatly help improve performance for students at risk for low performance. Study after study reveals that a poor performing third grader is likely not to learn the skills they need later in life to become a happy, healthy, productive member of society. We know this result can create a socioeconomic class that later depends on the remainder of society instead of contributes. Let's also please reflect on the fact that the outcome of the decisions we make today will not be realized for potentially 13 years, and we should stop wasting time to address the issue.
Bills I recently Filed or Sponsored

As controversial as it has become, I can't report to you without announcing that I was successful to get my first piece of legislation, S285 Equal Representation for Asheville passed in the Senate last week. This legislation involved many hours of research, then lively debate in our Elections Committee, in the Rules Committee, and on the Senate floor. The best and most brief news coverage regarding the matter may be read at the Asheville-Citizens Times [Click Here]. I will now have the honor to present the bill to the House Elections Committee. From there Chuck McGrady will carry it for me onto the House floor. I proposed this legislation at the request of many Asheville Citizens that feel they are not adequately represented on the city  council. The demographics and geography of Asheville certainly substantiate that viewpoint. 

For a complete list of bills I have filed or sponsored [Click Here].
From District 48
W e are so proud of Sheriff Mahoney's recognition in the May 4 edition of the  Transylvania Times . To read the complete story [Click Here].

What an honor it was to have the heroic Buncombe County Fire Chiefs visit me in Raleigh. I am proud to have introduced S216 earlier this year which supports our firefighters. I valued the opportunity to discuss other measures important to them for consideration of our further support.

A Little Bit of Levity
Because we all need to take a few more moments to smile...