Gov. Roy Cooper addressed the N.C. General Assembly and other state leaders tonight in his fourth State of the State address. Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson provided the GOP’s response immediately afterward in a pre-recorded speech.
Cooper highlighted that North Carolina was named State of the Year for Business in 2022, according to CNBC and Business Facilities. He also emphasized the achievements of the state’s clean energy sector, citing electric vehicle manufacturing locations in Durham, Chatham and Randolph counties.
“North Carolina is now a clean energy destination, bringing good paying manufacturing jobs to parts of our state that, years ago, knew more factory closures than ribbon cuttings,” Cooper said.
The state’s workforce is reliant on the success of its public schools, he said. Cooper said his budget proposal for this year would include giving teachers and school employees double-digit raises and providing a solution for bus driver shortages — all without raising taxes.
Cooper also spoke on the state’s youth mental health crisis.
“I’ve already directed tens of millions of dollars to this critically important effort, including mental health first aid that helps teachers and school staff recognize the signs of a child in crisis,” Gov. Cooper said.
In addition to his concerns about youth mental health, Cooper said children in North Carolina are 51 percent more likely to die from gun violence than children in the U.S. as a whole.
“If you support the responsible gun ownership that we are granted under the Second Amendment, as I do, then we cannot accept this,” Cooper said.
Cooper also pointed out state investments in broadband and clean water infrastructure, child care and workforce development.