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News Roundup

Senate Passes Bill Aimed at Reforming State Mental Health System

Your AM Rundown; Plus, the UniverSoul Circus is back in town.

The Georgia Senate unanimously voted in favor of the Mental Health Parity Act, which would expand insurance coverage to include behavioral health and substance abuse. (Getty Images)

Top of the morning! It’s Friday and April Fool’s Day, y’all. May the jokes be in your favor.

Here is Your AM Rundown, with news updates in 400 words or less. Get caught up on headlines and other developments you might’ve missed. 

Here’s what to know for today:

  • Major improvements could be coming to Georgia’s mental health system. The Senate unanimously voted in favor of House Bill 1013, commonly known as the Mental Health Parity Act, to require that insurance companies cover behavioral health and substance abuse in addition to physical health coverage. The bill will now head to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk for final approval.
  • The Georgia constitutional carry bill was approved by the House with minor changes. Senate Bill 319 would allow residents to carry handguns in public without a concealed weapons carry permit or a background check. Before the governor can sign off on the legislation, the bill will return back to the Senate, who will review the changes.
  • Clark Atlanta University just received a $11.8 million grant to establish a metaverse hub. The funding from EON Reality, a global leader in augmented and virtual reality learning solutions, is part of an effort to train CAU’s faculty and students in the technology. Clark Atlanta is the first HBCU to receive this type of grant.
  • DeKalb County leaders want to hold themselves accountable to residents and staff. The Board of Commissioners voted to spend $210,000 with Atlanta-based Partnership for Southern Equity to develop a comprehensive strategy for  addressing racial equity.
  • Capital B Atlanta state and local politics reporter Chauncey Alcorn reports that Georgia’s new voting laws are making it harder to register Black voters, creating low morale among Black residents ahead of the 2022 midterm election season.

ICYMI: Soul under the Big Top is back! The UniverSoul Circus, celebrating its 29th anniversary, is returning with two tour stops in metro Atlanta. The show is open now at Gwinnett Place Mall in Duluth through April 10. The second stop will be at the Center Parc Stadium Grey Lot in Summerhill, from April 14 to June 5. Tickets are on sale now.

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