RALEIGH, N.C. — Gov. Roy Cooper discussed key issues and solutions during his annual State of State Address at the Capitol Monday evening.
Ongoing Hurricane Florence recovery efforts were the first topic the governor spoke about. He recognized a state trooper for assisting flood victims during the storm.
"It's not simply enough to respond to a disaster when it strikes. We must also limit damage from the next storm by rebuilding stronger and more resilient," Cooper said.
Cooper also urged fellow lawmakers and Americans to act now and combat climate change which he sees as the cause of the devastating storms.
One of the other topics the governor mentioned was improving the state's education system by providing more funding and increasing teacher's pay.
"Public education lifts up families, communities and our economy, but too often public schools have taken a back seat to tax breaks for those at the very top. Simply put, public education is our most important job as a state and we must do better," Cooper said.
Cooper did address other needs like jobs, teacher's pay, the ongoing opioid crisis as well as North Carolinians lacking healthcare.
"Rural hospitals are bordering on bankruptcy and even closing because many of their patients don't have health insurance. Are we willing to help them? Well, it's time," said Cooper.
After the address, the Republicans delivered their rebuttal, agreeing to work with Democrats for the good of all North Carolinians.
"The facts of the responsible Republican leadership are indisputable. Under those policies, graduation rates are up, incomes are higher, taxes are lower and more people work today than any other time in our state's history," said Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger.