Anti-abortion group doesn’t make the cut in Michigan budget supplemental

    Michigan Capitol | Susan J. Demas

    Before breaking for the year, the GOP-led Legislature approved a Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 budget supplemental after a long standoff with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

    Not all programs vetoed by the governor made the cut in the supplemental, like Pure Michigan and the anti-abortion Real Alternatives program. In September, Whitmer vetoed $700,000 for the program that first started receiving state funding during the former Gov. Rick Snyder era.

    As the Advance first reported, the Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group Campaign for Accountability filed a complaint against Harrisburg, Pa.-based Real Alternatives, questioning how the organization spent Michiganders’ tax dollars.

    Breaking: Watchdog org. filing complaint against anti-abortion group with state contract

    Mary Alice Carter, senior advisor of Equity Forward, a Washington D.C.-based watchdog group that tracks anti-reproductive health actors, said it was positive that Real Alternatives remains zeroed out in the budget.

    “The exclusion of funds to anti-abortion programming is cause for celebration in Michigan,” said Carter. “Gov. Whitmer was right to veto funding to Real Alternatives, an indication of her commitment to cutting handouts to lobbyists and vendors. Regardless of where one stands on abortion, it is not controversial that state programs should adhere to their contracts. Good riddance to this contract that benefited out-of-state executives and jeopardized thousands of people’s lives.”

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    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.