State News

The Latest: Cooper: I'll seek consensus, but fight bad laws

Posted January 7

— The Latest on North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper's inaugural address delivered Saturday (all times local):

10:30 a.m.

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper is vowing in his inaugural address to find consensus on issues but says he'll fight laws that attempt to make any state resident "less in the eyes of their fellow citizens."

In the prepared text of Cooper's speech delivered by television Saturday, the new governor pressed his case to expand Medicaid coverage and to repeal a law limiting LGBT rights and directing which public bathrooms transgender people can use. Republican legislative leaders have opposed Medicaid expansion and approved House Bill 2 last March.

Cooper this week filed paperwork toward his pursuit to expand Medicaid, and an effort last month to repeal HB 2 fell short amid partisan acrimony.

Cooper already has sued legislative leaders over a law they passed last month reducing his powers over elections, but the former state attorney general says he refuses "to spend the next four years engaging in political brinkmanship."

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4 a.m.

New North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper will share his vision for the state in an inaugural address whose listeners now will be limited to a television audience because of the winter weather.

Cooper had planned to give the address in person at Saturday's inauguration ceremony, but the event got canceled due to forecast snow. So now he'll speak Saturday morning from the Executive Mansion in Raleigh before a TV camera.

The storm has forced events for the inauguration and related festivities to be rescheduled or not occur.

Saturday night's planned Inaugural Ball got moved to Friday and consolidated with other events. And Saturday's inaugural parade and Sunday's open house at the Mansion also won't happen.

Cooper and several other Council of State members participated in a smaller installation ceremony Friday.

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