RALEIGH – After laying low following a tough election loss to Roy Cooper in the 2020 race for governor, Republican Dan Forest emerges to reflect on his last eight year as lieutenant governor. True to form, Forest’s parting message is replete with humility, patriotism, and conviction in the principles and policies that lead North Carolina, and the United States of America, to greatness.
“As the final days of my second term as Lt. Governor wind down, I thought it a worthwhile exercise to reflect on the great work that my small agency was able to get accomplished during those years. This is a testament to the hard work of my excellent office staff. Here is the highlight reel of legislative accomplishments:
Education was a significant focus of our work. From creating the Education Endowment Fund, that is now being used to pay for the revival of the Teaching Fellows Program; to creating policy at the State Board of Education that finally gives any student in our public schools the ability to take Computer Science; to the Digital Learning Plan Initiative (a model other states are following), which led to North Carolina becoming the first state in the nation to have every single classroom connected to high-speed broadband; to leading the effort to ensure that every child pass a true economics and financial literacy course before they graduate high school – we accomplished these initiatives and many more all while working with our General Assembly to increase teacher pay and public school funding to the highest levels in state history.
Additionally, I am proud of the work we did at the state level to increase education opportunity and choice for our children by expanding the amount of public charter schools, as well as increasing the allotment of opportunity and special needs scholarships.
I am very proud that my office led the charge to create an official state holiday (the first of its kind in the nation) for our brave Police, EMS, Firefighters, and State Highway Patrol with the enactment of “First Responders Day,” which I will continue to honor and celebrate on September 11th of each year.
Without hesitation, we stood up for the safety and security of the most vulnerable among us, including women and children. We made large strides in raising awareness and working to end the modern-day practice of slavery, known as human trafficking, with the passage of multiple bills creating greater punishment for perpetrators and awareness of victims. Other bills that focused on the most vulnerable include: Burt’s Law, the Prohibition of Revenge Porn, Prohibiting FGM, and Raise the Age.
We also championed and created a, first-in-the-nation, protection of Free Speech on North Carolina’s university campuses, making our schools the most First Amendment friendly in the nation – this has become a model for many across America.
Finally, I am so proud to have helped create the Food Manufacturing Task Force (which has provided a plan for North Carolina to expand our state’s #1 Industry and be a true leader in the global food supply chain), the Chairman of the Digital Learning and Computer Science Committee at the State Board of Education (which connected all of our classrooms to high-speed broadband and provided Computer Science to all students), the Chair of the Hispanic Educational Outreach Taskforce (which created a plan to give minorities, especially in the Hispanic Community, more opportunities and choice in education), the Chairman of the Energy Policy Council (which has laid the foundation to making North Carolina the most energy efficient and clean in the nation), and the Chair of the Commission on Fair Treatment of Student Athletes.
While it is bittersweet to close this chapter as Lt. Governor of North Carolina, I know that our state is still in good hands with the leadership that our North Carolina General Assembly continues to provide for our state. Without their friendships and common goals, many of the accomplishments my office experienced these past eight years would never have come to fruition. I thank all the members, both Democrats and Republicans, for coming together on a majority of my initiatives for the betterment of our citizens.
I believe The United States of America is the greatest country in the world and North Carolina is the greatest state in the country and I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve.”
And North Carolina conservatives are proud to have had such a consistent advocate for the values that animate Esse Quam Videri. Thank you, Dan Forest, for your service.
Of course, Forest’s days of public service may not be over. Relatively young (54), Forest has been mentioned as a possible candidate for U.S. Senate in 2022. Census redistricting in 2021 will also bring a new congressional district to North Carolina, likely putting several U.S. House seats in play as well.
Either way, we’re sure Forest will continue his service in one way or another. The need for strong conservative leaders will certainly not diminish anytime soon — to the contrary.