Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue is a former Michigan Advance reporter who covered education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.

House passes EITC and pension tax bill, Senate Republicans punt action to next week

By: - February 10, 2023

After a tumultuous day on the House floor, the chamber on Thursday approved Democrats’ tax relief plan by a slim margin.  The bill, which has been endorsed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, won’t be heading to her desk yet, however. In an unusual move, Senate Republicans maneuvered to adjourn Thursday afternoon before the upper chamber was […]

Updated: Whitmer’s 5th budget proposal spends $79B for education, safety, infrastructure and more

By: and - February 8, 2023

Updated, 6:17 p.m. with additional comments and details Seated before lawmakers on Wednesday in Lansing’s new Heritage Hall, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer offered her $79 billion Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 budget proposal on Wednesday to boost priorities in education, infrastructure and more. In stark contrast with the projected $3 billion deficit the state was facing three […]

As lawmakers revamp 3rd grade reading law, advocates say dyslexia supports are needed

By: - February 8, 2023

Many education advocates say they’re pleased the Legislature is poised to ax the requirement to hold back students who don’t learn how to read by third grade.  But they say there also needs to be better screenings and interventions for students, such as those with characteristics of dyslexia, in order for the law to be […]

Michigan State Police say false school shooting reports are ‘coordinated campaign’

By: - February 7, 2023

Police responded Tuesday to false reports of school shootings at multiple schools across Michigan. “This morning there have been calls to Okemos High School and Jackson High School about an active shooter which has been found to be a hoax. Reminder that reporting a false threat against schools or business is a crime,” Michigan State […]

Whitmer, Democratic leaders agree on tax plan framework, provide few details

By: - February 3, 2023

Updated, 4:14 p.m., 2/3/23 Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Democratic leaders announced Friday that they have struck a deal on a framework for a tax relief plan — although few details were released.  “Michiganders sent a clear message in November. They want leaders who are going to get things done that help their families get ahead,” […]

Expanding Elliott-Larsen is first order of business for Senate civil rights committee

By: - February 2, 2023

During their first hearing of the year, the Michigan Senate Committee on Civil Rights, Judiciary and Public Safety listened Thursday to LGBTQ+ lawmakers, advocates and a few opponents to the bill that aims to expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (ELCRA). “There was a time when our community had very few outlets, and it was […]

Federal lawsuits hold up student loan relief for more than 500K approved borrowers in Michigan

By: - February 2, 2023

About 860,000 Michiganders applied or were automatically eligible to get their student loan debt forgiven last year, according to data from the Biden-Harris administration, but that relief continues to be held up by lawsuits. In August,  President Joe Biden rolled out his plan to provide up to $20,000 in debt relief for borrowers earning less […]

Bill rolling back Michigan’s retirement tax heads to conference committee 

By: - February 2, 2023

A bill that was set to change the state’s tax on retirement income is headed to conference committee for final negotiations.  The Democratic-led Senate on Wednesday gutted House Bill 4001. There has been speculation that in addition to reforming the so-called pension tax and increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for working families — […]

Democratic-led Senate education panel votes to reform third-grade reading law

By: - January 31, 2023

Michigan education advocates and leaders urged the Senate Education Committee Tuesday to pass a bill to remove the controversial retention component from the state’s Read by Grade 3 law. Senate Bill 12, sponsored by Senate Education Committee Chair Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia), aims to reform Michigan’s third-grade reading law by removing a mandate that requires […]

‘Just not The Diatribe’

By: - January 27, 2023

Updated, 9:00 a.m., 1/27/23 When Marcel “Fable” Price, the executive director of The Diatribe, a Grand Rapids Black and LGBTQ+-run art and creative center for youth, saw their proposal to receive federal COVID-19 relief funding through Kent County ranked in the top 12 of more than 300 proposals countywide, he felt hopeful that they would […]

‘Bigotry is bad for business,’ Whitmer declares in her State of the State speech

By: - January 26, 2023

Updated, 11:49 a.m., 2/2/23, 7:39 a.m. 2/3/22 Throughout Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s fifth State of the State address Wednesday night, she drew connections between the many civil rights issues she has championed for years and the need to strengthen the state’s economy.  “Bigotry is bad for business,” Whitmer said before receiving a standing ovation from the […]

New right-wing group is gearing up against Michigan schools over LGBTQ+-inclusive sex ed

By: - January 24, 2023

Editor’s note: This story had inaccurate information in the original version, which has been updated and corrected.  A recently formed group in Michigan, Great Schools Initiative (GSI), is arming parents with a new sexual education opt-out form that focuses heavily on cutting out any conversation about gender identity and sexual orientation in schools.  Starting this […]