Author

Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue covers 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.

Gov. backs Reproductive Health Act to repeal anti-abortion laws

By: - October 29, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday announced a legislative package to repeal current restrictive reproductive health statutes and add more protections for women’s health.  “When it comes to making decisions on reproductive health care in Michigan, a woman’s decision should be based on medical facts, not political rhetoric or ideology,” Whitmer said at a morning press […]

Whitmer signs bipartisan bill protecting mental health counselors, patients

By: - October 29, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed into law on Tuesday a bipartisan bill that will update the scope of practice for Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC) in Michigan and allow them to continue diagnosing and treating patients.  “This new law will ensure that more than 150,000 Michiganders can still access critical mental health care,” said Whitmer. “And it […]

Lawmakers push tax breaks for data centers, critics worry about school funds

By: - October 24, 2019

A number of bipartisan bills are making their way around the House and Senate in efforts to make Michigan more competitive in the data center market, but opponents are concerned these bills will have a negative impact on schools and other businesses. State Reps. Bronna Kahle (R-Adrian) and Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor) introduced two bills […]

Court denies Nessel’s motion to stay in anti-LGBTQ adoption case

By: - October 23, 2019

Religious adoption agencies contracting with the state are still able to refuse to work with LGBTQ couples after a federal judge denied Attorney General Dana Nessel’s motion to pause a court order. Nessel filed an emergency motion in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan on Oct. 11 following the order from U.S. […]

After Plawecki controversy, GOP bill limits state highway honorary names

By: - October 22, 2019

A new bill could limit the naming of memorial highways to fallen military members, law enforcement officers, first responders and Congressional Medal of Honor awardees. The sponsor of House Bill 4784, House Transportation Chair Jack O’Malley (R-Lake Ann), said naming local roads after communities’ “favorite sons or daughters” should be left to local municipalities. O’Malley […]

Bill protecting licensed professional counselors heads to Whitmer’s desk

By: - October 18, 2019

After unanimous approval from both the House and Senate, a bill that would shield rights for Michigan’s licensed professional counselors (LPCs) working with mental health patients is headed to the governor’s desk.  In August, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) proposed a rule that would deny the right to diagnose patients and […]

lgbt

3 Michigan cities ban gay conversion therapy for minors, protecting 1% of LGBTQ population

By: - October 17, 2019

This week, Ferndale became the third city in Michigan to ban the practice of gay conversion therapy for minors. Following in the footsteps of Huntington Woods, which banned the practice in June, and East Lansing’s ban in September, the Ferndale City Council voted unanimously to adopt the new law.  Conversion therapy, also referred to as […]

New: Whitmer, DHHS announce plan to ease access to public assistance

By: - October 17, 2019

Updated, 12:58 p.m. with additional details Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Director Robert Gordon on Thursday morning announced policy changes aimed at making access to food assistance and other public benefits easier for families.  The state will make the asset limits for food assistance, cash assistance and state […]

Stabenow, Peters call on DeVos to abandon rule stripping student borrower protections

By: - October 16, 2019

U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) are calling on the President Trump administration to undo a rule that guts protections for defrauded or misled students seeking debt relief.  Stabenow and Peters urged U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to abandon the proposed rule in a letter to the department last week. The […]

How Trump admin food stamp changes could put school districts in greater debt

By: - October 16, 2019

The rollout of new federal regulations for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has families and school districts nervously waiting to find out who will pay for school lunches after more than 95,000 Michigan households are expected to lose their food stamp benefits. The changes, which make qualifying for SNAP benefits much more difficult, will […]

Nessel joins brief against DACA repeal

By: - October 8, 2019

Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined a brief in the lawsuit against the federal repeal of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The brief, filed Friday with the U.S. Supreme Court, argues that allowing DACA program recipients, commonly referred to as Dreamers, to participate in American society generates significant positive impacts for both […]

As the fastest-aging state in nation, Michigan joins national AARP effort

By: - October 7, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Monday that Michigan is the fifth state to join the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States to help address the state’s aging demographics.  “Active aging is a lifelong process and making communities more age-friendly is a common-sense policy approach for responding to demographic aging,” Whitmer said. “I look forward to continuing […]