Gov. Roy Cooper gives 1st ‘State of the State’ address, urges for repeal of HB2

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The latest on North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s first State of the State address Monday night at the Legislative Building (all times local):

8:15 p.m.

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The Republican leader of the North Carolina Senate called Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s vision for the state a “mirage” that would return the state to “our troubled past” of excessive government spending and high jobless rates.

Senate leader Phil Berger has led the chamber since 2011. He pre-recorded a Republican response to Cooper’s State of the State address that highlighted GOP accomplishments and blasted Cooper, liberal interest groups and the media.

Berger says Cooper talks a lot about compromise but blames Cooper for urging Democratic lawmakers to oppose recent legislation to do away with the state’s “bathroom bill,” or House Bill 2. Cooper said those bills either wouldn’t work or fell short of what was needed.



Berger also derided the Left for organizing “vulgar rallies” and for criticizing Republicans as dishonest, immoral and bigoted.

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7:10 p.m.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is telling North Carolina legislators to repeal the state’s “bathroom bill,” saying the law known as House Bill 2 is “the dark cloud hanging over our state of promise.”

The new governor made the comments Monday night while giving his first “State of the State” address to a joint session of the House and Senate in Raleigh. The GOP-controlled legislature passed the law last year that limits LGBT rights and which restrooms transgender people can use in schools and other government buildings.

At least two compromises to do away with HB2 have fallen apart since December amid partisan rancor.

Cooper said North Carolina citizens are sick of hearing about the law and said it drains energy from the other work elected officials should be doing.

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3:20 p.m.

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is following gubernatorial predecessors by filling the audience for his speech to the General Assembly with people whose work and other accomplishments will reinforce his agenda.

Cooper’s office identified six people who will be in the House gallery for Monday night’s State of the State address to a joint House-Senate session. They include public school teachers expected to exemplify the need for higher pay for veteran educators and a loan program for college students who go into teaching.

Also slated to attend are a 12-year-old Wayne County girl who created a food pantry that later helped Hurricane Matthew survivors and the Nashville police chief, who’s been involved in an opioid abuse rehabilitation program. Cooper sees Matthew relief and opioid addiction treatment legislation among areas of agreement with Republicans.

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1:30 a.m.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s speech to the North Carolina General Assembly likely will highlight his budget priorities and potential areas of agreement elsewhere with Republican legislative leaders.

Monday night marks Cooper’s first State of the State address. The House and Senate will gather in the House chamber at the Legislative Building to listen. The speech also will be televised statewide.

The speech marks a major opportunity for the new governor to push his agenda and speak directly to the voters who narrowly elected him.

The address comes as he and GOP legislative leaders have been fighting in court over laws stripping gubernatorial powers. They also have been at odds on House Bill 2, the law limiting LGBT rights and directing which public bathrooms transgender people can use.

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3/13/2017 8:32:12 PM (GMT -4:00)