News & Updates From Senator Edwards
Dear District 48 Constituent,

Now that the 2017 Legislative season is in full swing, I wanted to take the opportunity to send you a few updates about what's happening in Raleigh. 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,

At The Legislature
This Week's Votes

Only one bill made it to the Senate floor this week. I voted in support of HB39
that through attrition over the next few years will reduce the number of members of the UNC Board of Governors from 32 to 24. Feedback that I have received indicates that a board of 32 cannot efficiently oversee the finances and operations of our state university system, and that ample debate over key issues may not effectively take place.

My complete voting record for this biennium may be found here.
Larry Hall Again Missing In Action

On Thursday, for the 3rd time the Senate Commerce Committee on which I sit, met to confirm the appointment of Larry Hall to the Secretary of Military and Veterans Affairs for Governor Cooper. For the third, time he did not appear before the committee. The NC Constitution is clear- Article III Sec. 5(8) "The Governor shall nominate and by and with the advice and consent of a majority of the Senators appoint all officers whose appointments are not otherwise provided for." Furthermore, last year's HB17 which I supported, provides for Senate confirmation of cabinet appointees. I would have hoped this would have been a simple process to ensure that appointees are qualified to do their job, have no conflict of interest, and will obey the law. 

The willingness of this nominee to obey the law is now in question.  At a press conference, Senator Berger explained that, frankly, Senate confirmation of the governor's cabinet appointees should not be a big deal. It has been standard practice in Washington - and in many other states - for as long as we can remember.

Transparency in government is a good thing. Giving the people of this state an opportunity to learn about unelected department heads who control billions of their tax dollars is not something anyone should be fighting over. Nor should it be controversial that public officials must - like everyone else - follow the law.

The fact the governor has turned this into one of the biggest political fights of the year makes us wonder: what on earth does he have to hide? 

You can watch the entire press conference here.

Our committee elected to issue a subpoena ordering Mr. Hall to appear before us on March 2. 
More Governor Cooper Shenanigans

Unfortunately, the governor seems more willing to pander to his party than work for the citizens of North Carolina.  He has played lip service to wanting to repeal HB2, all while pandering to his far-left base to raise a beaucoup of cash, trash talking his own state and sabotaging every effort to repeal it. Last Friday, news outlets reported that William Barber has called for an 'international economic boycott' of North Carolina by members of the NAACP until HB2 is repealed. 

It's time for Governor Cooper to show some leadership as North Carolina's governor, condemn William Barber's attempt to inflict economic harm on our citizens, and work toward a reasonable compromise that keeps men out of women's bathrooms.
Budget Process Has Begun

This week the Appropriations Committee for General Government and IT, on which I sit held its first two meetings. Our committee will determine the next 2 year's budget for 27 of our state's agencies. I was eager to call to the attention of the committee the December 2016 report of the Joint Oversight Committee for the Program Evaluation Division which suggests that most state agencies do not meet the recommended number of organizational layers and supervisory span of control ratios. I further suggested that it is through the appropriations process where these deficiencies can best be addressed.
  Bills Filed 

I am working on several bills. The only one to make it to the Principle Clerk's Office this week was S119 a license plate request for the Pisgah Conservancy. This is a group of volunteers dedicating their valuable time and resources to preserving the beauty and future of one of our District's greatest resources- the beauty and future of the Pisgah National Forest. Please consider helping them in way you see possible.

Bills I have previously filed and sponsored may be found here.
Debate of HB2 Repeal 

Many of you have been calling and emailing asking about the recent introduction of HB186 which is meant to repeal HB2. It is my goal to help find a solution to help NC businesses get back on an even playing field and to not license men to enter restrooms and locker rooms intended for the privacy of women and girls. I am appreciative to Chuck McGrady and the other HB186 architects for their work to open up dialogue that might help us find these solutions through the debate that will inevitably ensue over the coming weeks.
Office Information
Office Information
Your District Office 

Your District office, from which I work is now #2115 in the Legislative Build-ing. Since this is the area where the newest Senators are customarily assigned I affectionately refer to it as "Freshman Hall". If you find yourself in Raleigh, please stop by and say hello.

Your District Staff

I'd like you to meet our office staff that is so diligent and dedicated to helping our District office operate smoothly. Daily these ladies enthusiastically conduct research, help me construct legislation, conduct research, make sure I am in the right place at the right time, and address dozens of constituent issues and concerns.

Danielle Plourd
Meet Danielle Plourd, my Legislative Assistant. If you call or visit my Raleigh Senate office, you will most likely be greeted by her. Danielle is a recent graduate from Liberty University, where she achieved her M.A. in Strategic Communications, and attended Appalachian State for her undergraduate studies. She works to maintain my schedule and assists in all communications from my office. She also works to research any legislation, bills or questions I or my constituents may have. Danielle works to provide the citizens of District 48 with any resources they need and relays their concerns to me, so I can work to represent each of you and make your voices heard within our State Legislature. She works to ensure that each person who contacts my office receives a response and is heard. Danielle's goals in serving in my office include working to build a report with the citizens of District 48, building professional relationships and working to find an answer to any concern that our constituents have.
Jordon Edwards
Jordon Edwards is the newest addition to my office but not new to Raleigh. She completed an internship with Governor McCrory last year and is now an intern with my office. She is a junior, political science major with a minor in regional studies and business administration. She began her undergrad career at Mars Hill University but she transferred to North Carolina State University when she was accepted into the Legislative Internship Program. Jordon will be assisting my LA, Danielle Plourd, and I, with some basic office tasks such as maintaining the upkeep of the monthly newsletter, researching different policies and North Carolina statutes, as well as communicating with constituents on a daily basis. Through serving my office, Jordon hopes to gain a better understanding of all the aspects of North Carolina politics from constituent services to serving on committees. Some of her other goals include strengthening her communication skills, increasing her knowledge of what it means to be an elected official, and accruing a better sense of professionalism through being exposed to an office environment.
Senate Page Program

I would love to host your high school student as a North Carolina Senate Page this session. There are still some weeks with space left, particularly in March, April and May. If interested, please email Danielle Plourd at For more information, feel free to call our office at (919) 733-5745 or visit the North Carolina Senate Page Program website.
In The District...
Recently many of the members of the WNC delegation had the opportunity to tour the Craggy Correctional Center in Buncombe County. Here we  met dozens of dedicated state employees and had productive dialogue on the past success to help rehabilitate those willing to later rejoin our society as law abiding citizens, and the continued need to provide valuable job training skills.
District 48 Policy Poll
What Do You Think?
S36 and S40 were recently introduced calling for an Article V Convention of States. A Convention of States is under constitutional authority and is one of 2 ways constitutional amendments can occur. These bills call for North Carolina to be included in the Convention of States to work to limit the powers of the federal government, including in spending, decision making, state sovereignty, and regulations. Please take the poll HERE and tell me what you think.