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.

Senate GOP leader Shirkey backs away from budget deal as hunting break looms

By: and - November 7, 2019

Thursday made for another day of budget shenanigans, with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer optimistically saying earlier that morning that she and GOP leaders were “very close to being done” with a deal on supplemental spending.  By around noon, however, the state Senate had adjourned with Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) maintaining that the only way forward […]

A measles vaccination

Michigan pushes vaccination campaign to stop flu spread 

By: - November 6, 2019

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reminds families to get vaccinated during the flu season through a partnership with the I Vaccinate campaign. The I Vaccinate campaign, which began in 2017 under the former Gov. Rick Snyder administration, is a joint public-private effort of the DHHS and the Franny Strong Foundation, a […]

Levin calls Duke-UNC investigation over Islamic curriculum a ‘threat to academic freedom’

By: - November 4, 2019

U.S. Rep. Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.) and U.S. Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) sent a letter to U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos outlining concerns and requesting documentation regarding the department’s investigation into the Duke-University of North Carolina (UNC) Consortium for Middle Eastern Studies curriculum. In August, the Department of Education (DOE) wrote a letter to the […]

DHHS director defends making public benefits easier to access, Republicans concerned about fraud

By: - November 1, 2019

A new Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) policy change is set to go into effect Friday that will ease requirements for public assistance, but some senators believe the change could increase fraudulent claims. DHHS Director Robert Gordon met with members of both the state Senate Health Policy and Human Services and the Community […]

National education test results show small improvement statewide, in Detroit

By: - October 30, 2019

According to national test results released today, Michigan has secured its spot in the middle of the pack compared to other states, but a majority of students are still below proficiency and the national average in math and reading.  The 2019 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), commonly referred to as “the nation’s report card,” […]

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 […]


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 […]