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.

Oakland County expands protections for LGBTQs 

By: - November 26, 2019

A new non-discrimination policy in Oakland County, signed into law Tuesday, expands protections regarding gender identity and expression.  Oakland County Executive David Coulter, a Democrat, and the Board of Commissioners approved the county’s first comprehensive non-discrimination policy on Nov. 20. The updated policy states “that no individual or entity shall be subjected to discrimination or […]

Stabenow report slams Trump, GOP over ‘junk’ health plans that don’t cover basic services

By: - November 25, 2019

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) has released a report on Republican efforts to limit access to public health care and push short-term insurance plans, commonly referred to as “junk” plans. Non-comprehensive or “junk” insurance plans are inexpensive options that are not required to offer basic benefits, such as pre-existing conditions, maternity care or behavioral health. […]

Kalamazoo schools updates sex ed curriculum to include consent

By: - November 22, 2019

The Kalamazoo Public Schools Board of Education approved a new, more inclusive reproductive health curriculum at a school board meeting Thursday. The new curriculum, titled “Rights, Respect, Responsibility,” includes lessons on consent, dating violence, sexting and gender identity. Other topics include abstinence, anatomy and reproduction, bullying, condoms and birth control, consent, pregnancy, sexual abuse, LGBTQ […]

Overdose and opioid-related deaths decrease in 2018, 1st time in 6 years

By: - November 22, 2019

After several years of increases in overdose deaths, Michigan experienced an overall decrease in 2018, including a slight decline in opioid-related overdose deaths. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced Friday there were 2,599 overdose deaths last year, 2,036 of which were opioid-related.  This is the first decline in overall overdose deaths […]

Chatfield files motion to avoid testifying in Inman case

By: - November 20, 2019

House Speaker Lee Chatfield doesn’t want to take the witness stand in the trial of state Rep. Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg), who had been indicted for bribery, lying to federal law enforcement and extortion. Caledonia attorney John Bursch filed a motion Tuesday to void the testimonial subpoena of Chatfield, a Levering Republican, on the basis that […]

Michigan tuition prices are lower than advertised, but sticker shock hits low-income students hard

By: - November 20, 2019

When students begin shopping for higher education options, one of the greatest deciding factors is affordability. But many smart, low-income students in Michigan get sticker shock from the high tuition prices and never apply, unaware that the actual prices they would pay to attend these schools are much lower.  Although the tuition prices for Michigan’s […]

Benson, lawmakers hold town hall on redistricting panel, voting changes

By: - November 19, 2019

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and a group of state lawmakers met with constituents Tuesday night to educate and answer questions about voting reform laws citizens passed in 2018. Benson hosted a town hall attended by about 50 people at J.W Sexton High School in Lansing focused on Proposals 2 and 3 of 2018. She […]

Audit shows state Medicaid cost reimbursement processes aren’t working

By: - November 18, 2019

A recent Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) audit shows the department’s Medicaid cost reimbursement system for long-term care facilities is “inefficient.”  Medicaid reimbursement is the payment given directly to the provider for medical services from the DHHS covered by Medicaid.  The audit, done by the Office of the Auditor General (OAG), assessed […]

New: 2 Michigan Dems push for federal family leave changes

By: - November 14, 2019

Updated, 1:33 p.m. 11/14/19 with comments from Rep. Levin Married couples who work for the same employer may be restricted in the amount of time off they can take under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), but a new bipartisan bill seeks to expand the federal law.  U.S. Reps. Haley Stevens (D-Rochester Hills) and […]

Nessel urges Trump admin to withdraw proposal limiting asylum-seekers’ working rights

By: - November 13, 2019

Attorney General Dana Nessel joined 18 other attorneys general last week in opposing a President Trump administration proposed rule that would eliminate the 30-day timeframe for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to review asylum-seekers’ work permit applications.  Under the current system, asylum-seekers can apply for a work permit or Employment Authorization Document if […]

How Michigan 2018 candidates experienced Islamophobia through social media

By: - November 13, 2019

Michigan made history during the 2018 midterms with a record number of Muslim Americans running for local, statewide and federal offices. But a new report shows that these candidates faced a hostile political climate online fueled by President Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric.  The report, titled “#Islamophobia, Stoking Fear and Prejudice in the 2018 Midterms,” reveals how […]

How positive language could improve public policy for struggling communities

By: - November 13, 2019

Could focusing on a person’s or community’s attributions and aspirations instead of their struggles reverse systemic inequity? Some leaders in policy, media, the nonprofit sector and academia think so.  Trabian Shorters, CEO of BMe Community, spoke to a crowd of more than 300 people at a Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP) conference in Lansing […]