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Daily News Digest – April 18, 2022

Presented by the

Alabama League of Municipalities

Good morning!
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, April 18.


1. After ‘draconian’ cuts a decade ago, more support for mental health

  • Next year’s state General Fund budget allocates a record $193.1 million to the Alabama Department of Mental Health, about $65 million more than in fiscal 2020 when lawmakers said the state had “failed” in recent years to address mental health care needs.
  • “I think we’ve finally figured out in our state that mental health is just as important as physical health,” Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter, R-Rainsville, said earlier this month announcing a pilot program to provide a PTSD treatment to veterans and first responders. “There is no difference.”
  • Next year’s $193.1 million compares to a pre-recession high of about $143 million, before the General Fund allocation was slashed nearly in half in 2010, changing the way the department provides services.
  • “There were draconian cuts across the board,” House General Fund committee chairman Rep. Steve Clouse, R-Ozark, said. “We’re fortunate to be able to turn things around, but we had to go through some tough years.”
  • Alabama Department of Mental Health Commissioner Kim Boswell said the 2010 cuts and then level funding for several years made the agency examine what services it could provide.
  • Read the full feature story from Mary Sell HERE.



2. Tax Day: an extension may be better than rushing a return

  • For all you early bird filers who had your taxes done months ago – keep scrolling. This is a story for the rest of us laggards.
  • Today is Tax Day — the federal and state deadline for individual tax filing and payments — and the IRS expects to receive tens of millions of last-minute filings electronically and through paper forms.
  • As of April 8, the IRS had received more than 103 million returns for this tax season, and it had issued more than 63 million refunds worth more than $204 billion.
  • For comparison, last year more than 169 million people completed an income tax return by the end of the year. That probably leaves nearly 40% of this year’s taxpayers still unaccounted for, with many scrambling to submit their documents today.
  • Nina Tross, executive director of the National Society of Tax Professionals, said that if people haven’t filed their taxes by now, “they’re better off filing an extension.”
  • But, she added, “People don’t realize that filing an extension has zero effect” as long as they have paid their income taxes by Tax Day.
  • Read more HERE.





A message from the

Alabama League of Municipalities

Throughout the legislative session, the ALM Advocacy Team worked diligently to ensure the voice of municipal government was heard loud and clear at the State House.

We appreciate lawmakers, state leaders and our membership for collaborating with ALM to strengthen municipal government.

For a complete list of bills ALM tracked during session, visit




3. Space & Rocket Center marking 50th anniversary of Apollo 16

  • Alabama’s space museum is both marking the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 16 lunar mission and looking ahead to the next U.S. spaceflight to the moon.
  • A member of the Apollo 16 crew, former astronaut Charlie Duke, will be on hand in Huntsville on Wednesday as the U.S. Space and Rocket Center looks back on the April 1972 mission. The Apollo 16 capsule, nicknamed “Casper,” is housed at the museum, which cleaned up the spaceship earlier this year ahead of the celebration.
  • Duke and NASA officials are among those who will participate in an event that also will focus on the space agency’s upcoming test of its new, 30-story Space Launch System rocket. NASA is targeting June for a test flight to send the rocket to the moon without a crew.
  • The administrator of NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Jody Singer, and James Free, NASA’s associate administrator for exploration development, will discuss the space agency’s work to return to the moon.
  • Read more HERE.




4. Congress seeks compromise to boost computer chip industry

  • A global computer chip shortage has made it harder for consumers to get their hands on cars, computers and other modern-day necessities, so Congress is looking to boost chip manufacturing and research in the United States with billions of dollars from the federal government.
  • Both the House and the Senate have passed major legislation on the matter, and the effort is one of lawmakers’ final opportunities before the November elections to show voters they are addressing the nation’s strained supply chains.
  • Now they have to work out considerable differences in the two bills. And Senate Republicans are already digging in before the negotiations formally begin.
  • President Joe Biden has made the semiconductor legislation a top priority, but he’ll need the support of 10 Senate Republicans, and perhaps more, to get a bill to his desk. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell emphasized that point when congressional leaders recently announced which lawmakers will serve on the committee that works to reconcile the two bills.
  • “Without major concessions and changes from House Democrats, this legislation has no chance of becoming law,” McConnell said.
  • Read more HERE.



5. University of Alabama honors first Black football players

  • John Mitchell and Wilbur Jackson already had their place in Alabama football history. Now, the Crimson Tide’s first Black players also share a prominent spot outside Bryant-Denny stadium.
  • The university unveiled a plaque honoring Jackson and Mitchell Saturday in a ceremony before the current team’s end-of-spring A-Day game, more than 50 years after they broke the color barrier.
  • “It was a moment I will never forget,” said Mitchell, who had become emotional when he spoke at the ceremony. “It was very touching. You grow up a little Black kid from south Alabama and these are things you never dream of.”
  • The two 70-year-olds were also honored at halftime.
  • The introverted Jackson became the Tide’s first Black scholarship football player when he signed on Dec. 13, 1969. In 1971, defensive end Mitchell, a transfer from Eastern Arizona Junior College, became the first to play in a game.
  • Read more HERE.




ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – After ‘draconian’ cuts a decade ago, more money going toward mental health


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Tax Day: an extension may be better than rushing a return


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Space and Rocket Center marking 50th anniversary of Apollo 16


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Congress seeks compromise to boost computer chip industry


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – University of Alabama honors first Black football players


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Watch: Capitol Journal’s Week in Review, April 17, 2022


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Gas tax emerges as issue in Alabama governor’s race


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden increases oil royalty rate, scales back lease sales


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Twitter adopts ‘poison pill’ defense in Musk takeover bid


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – E-cigs using synthetic nicotine come under FDA oversight


ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Alabama unemployment rate dips to pre-pandemic record-low


AL.COM – Mariupol teeters as Ukrainians defy surrender-or-die demand


AL.COM – As Supreme Court weighs abortion, some Christians see the meaning of ‘pro-life’ differently


AL.COM – Pope makes Easter plea for Ukraine peace, cites nuclear risk


AL.COM – Contributor Ryland Byars: Letter to Tim James about campaign ad; ‘It is never ok to attack children’


AL.COM – Alabama Senate candidates trade shots over immigration, but all three want the wall


Montgomery Advertiser – Man found shot early Saturday morning in Montgomery


Montgomery Advertiser – Woman killed in early Saturday accident


Montgomery Advertiser – Montgomery’s Lady K is in American Idol’s top 20, and voting open now to get her in Top 14


Decatur Daily – City sold fire station at $81,500 above appraised amount


Decatur Daily – Morgan unemployment lowest in its history; other state local rates tie record lows


Decatur Daily – New firetruck included in proposed $6.6M midyear Decatur budget increases


Times Daily – Ashe Blvd. project nearing completion


Times Daily – City separates treasurer, CFO positions


Times Daily – Caddell takes over as Waterloo mayor


Anniston Star – ‘Family fun day’ held Saturday at Jacksonville State


Anniston Star – JSU enters partnership with Trenholm State


Anniston Star – Rogers: ‘Virtually no chance’ of Anniston Army Depot facing closure procedure


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – High gas prices impacting local law enforcement


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham Police searching for missing teen


WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Brookwood Baptist Medical Center NICU celebrate first Easter


Tuscaloosa News – A legendary contribution: UA honors first Black football players


Tuscaloosa News – West Blocton pedestrian killed in Interstate 59 crash, troopers say


Tuscaloosa News – ‘God’s been good to me’: John England Jr. celebrates retirement after nearly 30 years as judge


Gadsden Times – Search continues for person believed drowned in Coosa River near Memorial Bridge


Gadsden Times – Wreck closes all lanes of I-59 in St. Clair County


Gadsden Times – HSPRAC proposes city-subsidized spay/neuter program for Gadsden residents


Dothan Eagle – Sri Lankan Cabinet reshuffled to counter economic crisis


Dothan Eagle – Live Updates | 6 dead, 11 wounded in Russian strikes on Lviv


Dothan Eagle – Ukrainian governor: Russian strikes kill at least 6 in Lviv


Opelika-Auburn News – KENDRICK-HOLMES: Children should understand the holidays people celebrate – and so should we


Opelika-Auburn News – Rick Ennis killed his mother and stepfather when he was 12, his stepsisters and past reports say


Opelika-Auburn News – THE GRAND FINALE: Auburn competes at NCAA Championship final


WSFA Montgomery – Gov. Ivey signs bill providing free feminine hygiene products in low-income schools


WSFA Montgomery – Montgomery Fire/Rescue reports at least 5 structure fires over Easter weekend


WSFA Montgomery – Macon County road reopens following gas leak, fire


WAFF Huntsville – ADPH: Investigations of 9 young children with adenovirus underway; 2 required liver transplants


WAFF Huntsville – Alabama hits historically low unemployment rate, lowest since 2019


WAFF Huntsville – Involuntary commitment law changed in Alabama; taking effect in July


WKRG Mobile – Ukrainian governor: Russian strikes kill at least 6 in Lviv


WKRG Mobile – Syrian fighters ready to join next phase of Ukraine war


WKRG Mobile – ‘Armed and dangerous’ felons escape Virginia mental institution


WTVY Dothan – UPDATE: Juvenile arrested in threat against Dothan Preparatory Academy


WTVY Dothan – Expert urges those struggling with mental health to seek treatment


WTVY Dothan – MCSO: Deputy hospitalized following narcotics exposure


WASHINGTON POST – Missiles strike Lviv as Ukrainian forces refuse to surrender in Mariupol


WASHINGTON POST – Mariupol in final siege; Ukrainian forces ‘will fight till the end’


WASHINGTON POST – Lethal darts were fired into a Ukrainian neighborhood by the thousands


NEW YORK TIMES – Ukraine Live Updates: Russia Launches Rare Attack on Lviv, Killing 7


NEW YORK TIMES – China’s Economic Trends Hint at Cost of Zero Covid Strategy


NEW YORK TIMES – When Covid Enters the House, What Should We Do?


WALL STREET JOURNAL – Small Businesses Object to Clawback of Covid-19 Aid


WALL STREET JOURNAL – U.S. Stock Futures Fall as Treasury Yields Move Higher


WALL STREET JOURNAL – China’s Economy Grew 4.8% in First Quarter, Beating Expectations



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