Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is pressing for lawmakers to expand Medicaid, increase public education funding and help rural North Carolina with more aid following Hurricane Florence.
Cooper made a soft sell for his favored initiatives to a joint session of the General Assembly on Monday night during his second State of the State address.
The legislature is still in Republican hands. But Democrats took away the GOP’s veto-proof control from both chambers with legislative victories in November.
Cooper highlighted the bipartisan work done in the weeks and months after Florence struck the state.
The governor says the two parties may disagree on things but got big applause when he said all can agree education will succeed with a good teacher in every classroom and a good principal in every school.
On the other side, Senate leader Phil Berger echoed Governor Cooper’s call for bi-partisan effort.
“We’re going to have to choose collaboration more often than not because that’s what effective governing requires,” said Senator Berger.
Berger gave the Republican response following Cooper’s address, calling on his conservative colleagues to remember their founding principles.
“The people of North Carolina believe in conservative principles of low taxes, reasonable spending, and common regulations,” said Sen. Berger. “We will hold the line against radical policies.”
Cooper discussed the need for more broadband access for rural communities, stating that it could help rural students with homework and provide job seekers with an opportunity to apply online for employment.