Gov. Cooper to give first State of the State address Monday

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Gov. Roy Cooper will give his first State of the State address Monday to a Republican-controlled General Assembly, where many GOP legislators remain suspicious of his agenda.

But Cooper’s speech marks a major opportunity for the Democratic governor to press areas that could find bipartisan support. A statewide television audience also allows him to speak to voters and urge them to tell Republicans to work with him on other ideas. They include getting rid of House Bill 2, the law limiting LGBT rights.

Revenue surpluses increase the possibility Cooper, House Speaker Tim Moore and Senate leader Phil Berger can find common ground on issues such as raising teacher pay.

The speech comes as Cooper and legislative leaders are still fighting in court over recent laws that stripped Cooper of powers.