On April 26, Governor Roy Cooper delivered his third State of the State Address to the North Carolina legislature and residents of the state.
The speech highlighted the resilience of North Carolinians throughout the pandemic. Governor Cooper urged legislators to work together to rebuild from the pandemic by expanding Medicaid, raising teacher pay, investing in workforce training and solidifying the state’s infrastructure. “I believe that North Carolina is strong, resilient and ready to face the challenges of the future,” he said. “I believe that we will rebuild from this pandemic to be even stronger than before. And I believe that we can roar into the future together, creating a shared recovery that ensures our best days lie ahead.”
North Carolina is one of few states that has not expanded Medicaid. Now, with even more federal dollars available, the governor urged both parties to work together and get this done. Medicaid expansion would provide billions of federal dollars to cover over 500,000 North Carolinians, help rural hospitals, provide mental health services and keep working people healthy.
The Governor called on legislators to invest in K-12 and higher education, teacher pay, infrastructure, high-speed internet, and clean energy economic development. “In a year of hardship and loss, we owe it to ourselves and each other – and, as leaders, we owe it to the people who elected us – to build a state that is truly more educated, equitable, healthier and prosperous,” he said.