On Monday, April 26, 2021 Governor Roy Cooper delivered his third State of the State address.
The speech highlighted North Carolinians’ resilience throughout the pandemic and reinforced the need for legislators to work together to help the state rebuild from the pandemic even stronger 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,” said Governor Cooper. “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.
Governor Cooper also pushed for more workforce training to ensure students and adult workers can find fulfilling, good-paying jobs, as more companies from all over continue to bring new jobs to the state.
The Governor called on legislators to invest in K-12 and higher education, teacher pay, infrastructure, high-speed internet, clean energy economic development for a stronger and more prosperous future.
The Governor also highlighted the experiences of North Carolinians across the state who stepped up to help their communities respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, including:
Felecia Young, of Salisbury; Sixth Grade Math Teacher at Knox Middle School
Mrs. Young is a sixth-grade math teacher at Knox Middle School. She continues to be recognized for her commitment to the wellbeing of her students. Mrs. Young has also introduced innovative lessons through platforms such as Tik Tok to keep her math students engaged despite the many challenges that remote learning presented. She was nominated as a “Teacher Hero of COVID-19” for her dedication and creativity. Mrs. Young has been in schools for 20 years, returning to the classroom after being an administrator noting that “the classroom is my first love.” She continues to build genuine relationships with her students and their families, who now call here “Mama Young.”
“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,” said Governor Cooper.