Mr. President Pro Tempore, Mr. Speaker, Members of the General Assembly, Council of State, Mr. Chief Justice and members of the Supreme Court, members of the Court of Appeals, Cabinet Secretaries, and to my family: My amazing wife Kristin and our three wonderful daughters, who are with us in spirit and watching via PBS North Carolina TV.

Good evening. I am honored to be with you tonight. We gather after a year we could not have imagined. And now we look to a future that can be even better than we imagine.

Our response to an unprecedented, once-in-a-generation challenge is…

Tonight, Governor Roy Cooper will share his third State of the State address, recognizing the resilience of North Carolinians throughout the pandemic and offering a vision for a shared recovery that rebuilds our economy and communities to be stronger than ever. In his remarks, the Governor will highlight the experiences of North Carolinians across the state who stepped up to help their communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While COVID-19 precautions won’t allow for these guests to be present for the address, Governor Cooper spoke with them via Zoom and thanked them for their contributions and examples to North Carolina.

Photo Credit: Kate Medley

Good morning. I’m Roy Cooper.

Today, I’m honored to stand before you to accept both the oath of office of Governor and the duties that come along with it.

I’m thankful to my family — our First Lady Kristin Cooper and my three daughters, — who inspire me every day.

Transitions are a time for reflection, and a time for looking forward. My first term in this office was filled with triumphs, but also trials. First, the triumphs. Historic progress to make our state more inclusive and our environment cleaner. Record jobs announcements in rural and urban parts of our…

When I announced North Carolina had its first known COVID case on March 3rd, most of us didn’t expect to be living like this in December. Instead of preparing for beloved holiday traditions, we’re making virtual gathering plans and mourning the loss of more than 290,000 Americans from COVID-19.

As tough as this is, especially at the holidays, the sacrifices we’re making now will ensure that our loved ones can gather again at next year’s Thanksgiving and Christmas tables.

Our COVID-19 numbers are dire, and we need North Carolinians to take this virus seriously. A month ago, daily case counts…

This pandemic has affected every corner of our state, including our state budget needs. For many families, it has also shifted their priorities. Last week, I proposed a budget that tackles the challenges we’re facing today while building for the promise of tomorrow. We can emerge from this crisis even stronger than before if we invest wisely.

My budget, Support for a Determined North Carolina, uses the state’s remaining $900 million CARES Act funding to continue responding to COVID-19 and providing relief to communities. …

North Carolina has seen more than its fair share of devastating storms, particularly in the past few years. When hurricane season comes around, we don’t have the luxury of sitting back and seeing how it goes — even when we’re in the middle of a global pandemic — we have to be ready.

A hurricane on top of the COVID-19 pandemic is double trouble. For months, North Carolinians have been strong to get through this pandemic. As Hurricane Isaias barreled down on North Carolina, North Carolinians had to dig even deeper.

But the people of our state have shown their…

Next week, thousands of North Carolinians who are out of work due to COVID-19 will see a drastic reduction in their unemployment benefits despite this pandemic being far from over.

The additional $600 a week unemployed workers have received from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program has been a lifeline for struggling families and communities over these past few months.

But unless the federal government acts quickly, these benefits will expire this weekend and many people will be without money they need to pay bills and provide for their families. …

I am here today to talk about the call being sounded right now across our state and country to stamp out the persistent and ugly flames of racism.

The unjust killing of George Floyd, less than a week ago, combined with many other recent and distant events broke open painful wounds. These scars mark generations of trauma that Black people and other communities of color continue to suffer. Trauma that has too often gone unrecognized in our country.

We’ve had moments of heightened awareness, some right here in our own state. But they have faded from the headlines too fast…

Governor Cooper speaks with Lexine Merrill and David Florez, two Finish Line Grant recipients at Central Piedmont Community College.

Lexine is a good nursing student at Central Piedmont Community College who had a problem. An unexpected medical bill, a serious car repair, and a tight budget was forcing her to consider dropping out to work extra hours and pay these bills.

That same hard choice faced Rosalyn, a good Alamance Community College student, working to get her degree in Office Administration. She couldn’t afford a dentist to fix a painfully abscessed tooth that was causing her to choose between school and dental care.

I met both of these hardworking students who are on track to graduate because of Finish…

As governor, one of my top priorities is supporting our children from cradle to career. As a father and as a public school tutor, I’ve seen how a child’s earliest experiences form the foundation for lifelong learning and health. And the science is overwhelming showing how much it matters.

It’s critical that we continue to develop and grow strong education programs that are child and teacher focused, starting with strong early learning programs for our youngest children.

In August of 2018, I signed an Executive Order instructing the NC Department of Health and Human Services to lead the development of…

Governor Roy Cooper

Roy Cooper understands the challenges facing our families and communities and wants to build a North Carolina that works for everyone.

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