Editorial: Is Warren’s bipartisan bill sign of future?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Republicans in Raleigh certainly seem to be changing their tune now that there’s no longer a supermajority upon which they can rely on to pass bills without worrying about building a broad base of support. Hopefully, that change may also bring a bevy of bipartisan bills that will improve our state.

And if a bill being crafted by Salisbury’s Rep. Harry Warren, R-77,  is a sign of things to come, we’re encouraged by what lies ahead in the 2019 legislative session.

Warren says a call from his daughter, Morgan, prompted him to craft a bill focused on reducing North Carolinians’ dependence on single-use plastics — a cause we should all be able to support. And Warren says he’s already working with a Democrat — Greensboro’s Rep. Pricey Harrison — and fellow Republican Rep. Chuck McGrady, from Henderson County, to introduce a bill.

The bill will look to reduce the use of items such as plastic straws, takeout containers, coffee stirrers and toothpicks, which would be replaced with compostable or biodegradable options.

Warren says he also hopes to create a task force of experts, bringing in people from outside the walls of the N.C. General Assembly, to educate the public about single use plastics.

We’re looking forward to seeing the final product of Warren’s work with other legislators and support the premise of his bill.

Warren said it best when he told Post reporter Liz Moomey in a story published Sunday (“Rep. Warren to focus on single-use plastic legislation”) “this isn’t partisan. It’s a health and environmental issue.”

In recent years in Raleigh, Democrats have had reasons to cry foul more often than Republicans, but partisan bickering isn’t a new phenomenon. What’s more, the GOP doesn’t bear the full share of the blame for what seems to be a slow decline in a willingness to compromise on pieces of legislation.

Yet, we hope that Warren’s willingness to reach across the aisle and statements about bipartisanship by House and Senate leaders are a sign of a new normal rather than an anomaly.

Until Warren’s bill gets introduced, Rowan County residents can get a head start on reducing single-use plastics by asking “do I need a plastic straw with dinner,” “can I bring my own bags to the grocery store instead of using plastic ones” and questioning whether there are other instances where the use of plastics can be avoided.