7 Things: Death projections get better, Alabama’s ‘tipping point’, the economy could get back on track by December and more …
7. Still no expectation to prorate budgets
- With the coronavirus keeping everything shut down, it’s possible that the state would have to prorate budgets, which would force departments to decrease expenditures. State Senator Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) raised alarms about this last week.
- State Finance Director Kelly Butler said that up until now, our economy has been doing well, adding they’re “still not anticipating having to prorate either budget,” but they “are watching revenues closely.”
6. A failing governor becomes a national media hero
- President Donald Trump doesn’t want the federal government to be the first line of defense against the coronavirus, but Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) has said this is “creating a more porous situation.”
- Whitmer also stated that leaving decisions up to the governors instead of “having a national strategy where there is one policy for the country” will create a situation where the coronavirus “will go on longer and more people may get sick and sadly more lives may get lost.”
5. State Sen. Elliot wants to keep relief payments from being taxed
- The coronavirus relief payment you’re expecting to receive from the federal government is considered taxable income by law in Alabama, but State Senator Chris Elliot (R-Daphne) wants to keep that from happening.
- Elliot said that when the stimulus package passed in 2008, the legislature had to pass a bill that would make sure the relief money was excluded from state taxes, and now he’s trying to do the same thing with those $1,200 payments.
4. This week could get bad for the nation
- The coronavirus hasn’t reached its peak yet, but the U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams advised that “this is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives.”
- Adams also compared this week to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor, saying it’s “going to be happening all over the country.” He added that there’s “a light at the end of the tunnel if everyone does their part for the next 30 days.”
3. Alabama economy could be back by the end of the year
- Two economists at the University of Alabama, Sam Addy and Ahmad Ijaz, released an analysis about how the economy in Alabama will handle the coronavirus and how long it’ll take to get back to where we were before.
- The analysis predicts that in the second quarter this year, the state economy will decline by 3-4%. They wrote, “Optimistically, the state economy will be back on a normal path of recovery by the fourth quarter.”
2. The next couple of weeks will be our ‘tipping point’
- While on APTV’s “Capitol Journal,” Alabama Department of Public Health’s Health’s State Health Officer Scott Harris said the state will see a “tipping point” with the coronavirus within the next couple weeks.
- Harris said that “we hope we have done is prepare enough to be ready for any potential surge,” adding that right now they’re just trying to prepare for the worst-case scenario.
1. Stay home, Alabama
- Governor Kay Ivey finally set a stay-at-home order for the state, which means you now have to stay home unless you’re seeking medical help, going to the grocery store or exercising. Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth agreed with Ivey’s decision, stating, “Though many may find it inconvenient, her action is the best method of combatting and controlling the spread of COVID-19 in our cities, towns, and communities.”
- The trends are moving in a positive direction for Alabama, according to the highly-cited Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation projections released over the weekend revising the number of potential deaths in Alabama from roughly 7,000 deaths to just over 900 deaths by May with a peak in the state on April 18.