Details of legislation, please

Published 6:40 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2013

To the Editor:

While I understand that the WDN is a local paper and your first obligation is to feature community news of local interest, The Republican-led General Assembly now in session in Raleigh is sponsoring major legislation that will have important consequences for all North Carolina residents, including those in Beaufort County and eastern North Carolina. I believe the WDN could serve a critical need by informing its readers of the details of legislation that is likely to have the greatest impact and asking Sen. Bill Cook and representatives Paul Tine and Michael Speciale to state their respective opinions.

 For example, major legislation has already been put forward that will fundamentally change the tax structure in the state, cutting taxes on some while increasing the tax burden of others. A bill has been put forward that will allow concealed weapons in establishments serving alcoholic beverages and on college campuses, and another provides public funds for private schools. Other bills will seriously impact voting rights by requiring voter ID, reducing the time of early voting from two weeks to one week and requiring college students to return home to vote. Another bill will establish a state religion.

We all have a stake in the final outcome of this legislation, and the WDN could serve its readers and the community well by printing a brief summary of such major legislation and asking our elected members of the N.C. General Assembly to state their positions. Our democracy depends on an informed electorate, and the WDN can and should play a critical role in that regard. Who knows, it might even sell more papers.

David W. Woodmansee

Blounts Creek