GOVERNOR COOPER OFFERS THE NC LEGISLATURE A PRESCRIPTION IT MUST FULFILL: “A responsibility to learn from adversity and make things better,” he said as he opened his State of the State Address Monday evening in the House Chamber of the State Legislative Building which is celebrating its 60th year of occupancy. Cooper harkened to another milestone of that time – the establishment of the Research Triangle Park – demonstrating “the foresight and resolve to invest in new ideas that have revolutionized our state impacting the generations that followed.” The style and presentation were in keeping with the way Cooper’s governed – pressing for cooperation, conciliation and investment in the future while eschewing confrontation, partisan cheap shots and unproductive lamentations on a false past. Along with his concern over the 25 years of procrastination in meeting the needs of North Carolina’s school children, Cooper rightly called on legislators to end the decade-long refusal to expand Medicaid and do it now -- without their planned delay. “Every month we wait to expand, not only cost lives, but costs our state more than $521 million a month in federal healthcare dollars,” he said, adding the warning that “if we don’t expand soon, we forfeit an additional $1.8 billion.” That is bad management that hurts the state budget no differently than failure to expand Medicaid has hurt more than 600,000 North Carolinians who haven’t been able to access the health care they need. Avoiding any direct confrontation or bullying finger-pointing, Cooper did take note of the kinds of legislation that, in the first weeks of the legislative session, has taken top priority. Cooper noted that when he took office six years ago, one of the first acts was to do away with the ill-conceived and costly so-called “bathroom bill” that resulted in cancelled economic development projects and moved or cancelled billions of dollars in convention, athletic championship and tourism business. “I challenge the General Assembly to keep us off the frontlines of those culture wars that hurt people and cost us jobs so we can continue our successful bipartisan work.” And I challenge Democratic members of the General Assembly to stand behind the Governor when he decides to oppose certain potential laws. Hold the line, or our Democracy will be further eroded.
Latest reader comments