Presented by the
Alabama League of Municipalities
Here’s your Daily News for Monday, April 11.
1. Education, controversial bills and ‘more money than we’ve ever had’ define session
- State Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville, at the end his sixth four-year term going back to 1974, said the Alabama Legislature’s session that ended Thursday night was unlike any he’d previously seen.
- “We had more money than I ever dreamed we’d have, both in the education budget and General Fund,” said Greer, who serves on the House General Fund budget committee. “That was the key factor in the whole session, more money than we’ve ever had.”
- The election-year session also saw the passage of conservative priority bills.
- “Maybe we overdid some of that, but I voted the way my constituents asked me to vote,” Greer said.
- Bolstered by record state revenues in both the Education Trust Fund (ETF) and General Fund, the Legislature passed select tax cuts that officials say total about $160 million and increased funding for education. There were pay raises for teachers and state employees and one-time bonuses for retirees too.
- The GOP majority prioritized on the last day of the session bills to ban gender transition medical care for minors, prohibit discussion about gender and sexual orientation in kindergarten through fifth grade and requiring public schools to make students use the bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to the sex designated on their birth certificates.
- “The last session day was not representative of the session,” Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, said that night. “We’ve actually had a strong education session.”
- Read our definitive session wrap-up story from Mary Sell and Maddison Booth HERE.
2. Gambling, school choice efforts fall short in 2022 session
- Among the bills that were discussed but ultimately failed were proposals for school choice expansion and a lottery and expanded gambling.
- This was Sen. Del Marsh’s last session, and the long-time GOP Senate leader pushed bills to allow state funding to follow students to private schools and home schools and to increase public funding of charter schools.
- Though Marsh, R-Anniston, won’t be returning to the State House, he said the demand for school choice options isn’t going away.
- “Parents want more choice and that is going to show up in the coming years,” he said. “It’s going to happen, the question is, how quickly will it happen.”
- Read more from Mary Sell HERE.
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3. USS Alabama getting new deck after more than 8 decades
- One of the most recognizable attractions in Alabama is getting an upgrade after more than eight decades in the water.
- The battleship USS Alabama, which draws thousands of visitors annually at its berth just east of downtown Mobile, is being outfitted with a new teak deck. Members of the commission that oversees the battleship and an adjoining park announced the $8.5 million project last week.
- Built in 1940, the ship served in World War II and was decommissioned. It was moved to the Alabama coast, and Battleship Memorial Park opened in 1965.
- While teak wood lasts a long time, the decking on the ship is showing wear and signs of age. The commission plans to raise money to cover the cost of replacing the roughly 23,000 square feet of teak that covers the ship’s metal hull.
- “The project has five phases,” said Bill Tunnell, chair of the 18-member commission. “The plan was carefully drafted to allow our visitors maximum access to the deck, with an exception of the current working area. The safety of our visitors and park staff is paramount.”
- Work is expected to take about three years.
- Story link.
4. Biden to nominate new ATF director, release ghost gun rule
- President Joe Biden is nominating an Obama-era U.S. attorney to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as his administration unveils its formal rule to rein in ghost guns, privately made firearms without serial numbers that are increasingly cropping up at crime scenes.
- Biden is expected to make the announcement nominating Steve Dettlebach, who served as a U.S. attorney in Ohio from 2009 to 2016, at the White House on Monday.
- The administration will also release the finalized version of its ghost gun rule, which comes as the White House and the Justice Department have been under growing pressure to crack down on gun deaths and violent crime in the U.S.
- Both Republican and Democratic administrations have failed to get nominees for the ATF position through the politically fraught process since the director’s position was made confirmable in 2006.
- Justice Department statistics show that nearly 24,000 ghost guns were recovered by law enforcement at crime scenes and reported to the government from 2016 to 2020. It is hard to say how many are circulating on the streets, in part because in many cases police departments don’t contact the government about the guns because they can’t be traced.
- Read more HERE.
5. Ukrainian defenders dig in as Russia boosts firepower
- As Ukrainian forces dug in on Sunday, Russia lined up more firepower and tapped a decorated general to take centralized control of the war ahead of a potentially decisive showdown in eastern Ukraine that could start within days.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned Sunday in his nightly address to the nation that the coming week would be as crucial as any in the war, saying “Russian troops will move to even larger operations in the east of our state.”
- He also accused Russia of trying to evade responsibility for war crimes in Ukraine.
- “When people lack the courage to admit their mistakes, apologize, adapt to reality and learn, they turn into monsters. And when the world ignores it, the monsters decide that it is the world that has to adapt to them,” Zelenskyy said.
- “The day will come when they will have to admit everything. Accept the truth,” he added.
- Experts have said that the next phase of the battle may begin with a full-scale offensive. The outcome could determine the course of the conflict, which has flattened cities, killed untold thousands and isolated Moscow economically and politically.
- In an interview that appeared on “60 Minutes” Sunday night, Zelenskyy said Ukraine’s fate as the war shifts to the south and east depends on whether the United States will help match an expected surge in Russian weaponry in those regions.
- Read more and watch the Zelenskyy interview HERE.
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Education, controversial bills and ‘more money than we’ve ever had’ dominate session
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Gambling, school choice efforts fall short in 2022 session
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – USS Alabama getting new deck after more than 8 decades
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Biden to nominate new ATF director, release ghost gun rule
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ukrainian defenders dig in as Russia boosts firepower
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – What was approved in the Alabama 2022 legislative session
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – States look for solutions as US fentanyl deaths keep rising
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – 2 Alabama men charged after ‘takeover’ of Florida beach town
ALABAMA DAILY NEWS – Ex-Alabama prison guard sentenced for assaulting inmates
AL.COM – Bills about children and gender identity bring Alabama legislative session to divisive finish
AL.COM – Biden expected to release rule on ghost guns in days
AL.COM – America’s homeless ranks graying as more retire on streets
AL.COM – US official: Russia appoints new Ukraine war commander
AL.COM – These are the highest paying bachelor’s degrees at the University of Alabama
AL.COM – Labor and delivery units are closing in rural areas. One Alabama hospital is bucking the trend
Montgomery Advertiser – New sculpture arrives at Memorial for Peace and Justice
Montgomery Advertiser – Prattville mayor makes police report after altercation with teen over littering
Decatur Daily – Controversial bills, ‘more money than we’ve ever had’ dominate session
Decatur Daily – Lottery, school choice efforts fail in 2022 session
Decatur Daily – Injured Austin grad grateful for recovery, frustrated at Supreme Court immunity ruling
Times Daily – Controversial bills dominate session
Times Daily – Lottery, school choice efforts fail in session
Anniston Star – Candidates find a crowd at Noble Street Festival
Anniston Star – Trail riding competition being held
Anniston Star – Native American festival concludes today in Oxford
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – Birmingham realtor says home interest rates continue to rise
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – 16-year-old, adult man, injured in Center Point
WBRC Fox 6 Birmingham – ‘You can tell this is a very tightknit community’: BPD investigates homicide on 10th Street SW
Tuscaloosa News – New sculpture arrives at Memorial for Peace and Justice
Tuscaloosa News – Shelton State Community College to hold graduation exercises in May
Tuscaloosa News – Firehouse Subs opens first restaurant in Northport, debuts new design
YellowHammer News – President Biden appoints Alabama State’s Quinton Ross to HBCU advisory board
YellowHammer News – Alabama lawmakers approve historic investment for state’s children — ‘The state is making the right moves’
Gadsden Times – PET OF THE WEEK: Agador’s facial expressions will keep you entertained
Gadsden Times – Infrastructure improvements at GSCC will total more than $17 million
Gadsden Times – Pinwheels recognize child abuse victims, ceremony thanks those who advocate for them
Dothan Eagle – Live Updates | Ireland: consider EU oil sanctions on Russia
Dothan Eagle – China says ‘regular military supplies’ delivered to Serbia
Dothan Eagle – Indonesian students protest rumored delay of 2024 election
Opelika-Auburn News – Media mogul Jimmy Lai appeals to UN over Hong Kong cases
Opelika-Auburn News – Russia hits Ukraine’s air defenses ahead of eastern push
WSFA Montgomery – Work Zone Awareness Week reminds drivers to slow down
WSFA Montgomery – Woman dead after Friday night crash in Montgomery
WSFA Montgomery – Ex-Alabama prison guard sentenced for assaulting inmates
WAFF Huntsville – Financial Friday: Free program to teach kids about money
WAFF Huntsville – Once a retail giant, Kmart will be down to 3 stores after NJ closing
WAFF Huntsville – Huntsville service organization says more foster parents needed in the Valley
WKRG Mobile – French duel: Macron vs Le Pen fight for presidency
WKRG Mobile – Guangzhou closes to most arrivals as China’s outbreak grows
WKRG Mobile – Russia hits Ukraine’s air defenses ahead of eastern push
WTVY Dothan – Pedestrian dead following crash on I-85 in Montgomery Saturday
WTVY Dothan – National Grits Festival returns after 2 years of cancellations
WTVY Dothan – Residents of Taylor gather for a day of family fun
WASHINGTON POST – Putin to meet with Austrian chancellor as Russia steps up assault in east
WASHINGTON POST – Champion boxer turned Kyiv mayor becomes a rousing wartime leader
WASHINGTON POST – Russian students are turning in teachers who don’t back the war
NEW YORK TIMES – Ukraine Live Updates: Claims of Atrocities Mount as Russia Prepares a Renewed Offensive
NEW YORK TIMES – Exiled by Russian Bombs, a Ukrainian Soccer Team Embraces Its Journey
NEW YORK TIMES – Before Giving Billions to Jared Kushner, Saudi Investment Fund Had Big Doubts
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Elon Musk Reverses Decision to Join Twitter’s Board, CEO Says
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Tech Stocks Poised to Slip as Bond Yields Climb
WALL STREET JOURNAL – Ukraine’s Zelensky Calls for More Military Aid Ahead of Battles in Eastern Regions
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