Cheyna Roth


Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County. Eventually, Cheyna took her investigative and interview skills and moved on to journalism. She got her masters at Michigan State University and was a documentary filmmaker, podcaster, and freelance writer before finding her home with NPR. 
 
Very soon after joining MPRN, Cheyna started covering the 2016 presidential election, chasing after Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and all their surrogates as they duked it out for Michigan. Cheyna also focuses on the Legislature and criminal justice issues for MPRN. 
 
Cheyna is obsessively curious, a passionate storyteller, and an occasional backpacker. 
 
Follow her on Twitter at @Cheyna_R
 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Controversial bills to outlaw a certain type of abortion procedure are scheduled for a state House committee hearing this week. 

The bills would ban the “dilation and evacuation” or D-and-E procedure. The bill has been moving steadily through the state House. That’s despite a likely veto by Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Republican Senator Tom Barrett sponsored similar legislation in the state Senate. He says he’ll keep fighting for this ban despite Governor Whitmer saying she’ll veto anti-abortion bills.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state Senate committee approved a budget provision to financially penalize communities with sanctuary city policies. 

The committee passed a corrections budget Wednesday. It added language to the budget that would withhold jail dollars for communities that enact or enforce policies that prevents law enforcement from cooperating with federal officials on immigration matters. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republican lawmakers have filed an appeal to the United State Supreme Court in a lawsuit that accuses them of unconstitutional gerrymandering. 

Last week a federal court said that the Legislature and governor must agree on new political district lines for Congressional and state elections by August.

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (SHUR’-key) says he’s in the initial stages of carrying out the order.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan students may not get any additional snow days forgiven this year.

The state Senate unanimously passed a bill Tuesday that would have forgiven four state declared emergency snow days. But after that vote, several Democrats voted to not give the bill immediate effect. It’s a procedural move which renders the bill useless because it would not take effect until well after the school year has ended.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Action on the state’s budget is expected to pick up this week. 

The state Senate Appropriations committee will consider and possibly vote on multiple budgets – including for the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the Department of Health and Human Services.

Those budgets moving through the Senate include large cuts to what Governor Gretchen Whitmer recommended in her proposed budget. Including to the state Attorney General’s budget.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Some lawmakers in Lansing want to start a task force to curb the state’s lead exposure problem. 

Democratic Senator Adam Hollier is working on the legislation. He says one thing the task force would do is look at existing programs and see which ones can be broadened to include different types of help for things like lead paint removal.

But he says the ultimate goal is to put more money toward fixing the state’s lead problem.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   More money could be added to the state’s wrongful conviction fund.

Lawmakers sent a bill to add $10 million to the fund to the governor’s desk Thursday.

The money set aside for people who were wrongfully convicted is almost gone. Republican Representative Steve Johnson is a bill sponsor.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The Legislature sent Governor Gretchen Whitmer bills Thursday changing the state’s civil asset forfeiture laws.

Supporters say there should be a conviction before police can keep a person’s property. They say it’s a due process issue.

Republican Senator Peter Lucido is a bill sponsor. He’s been working on these changes since he was first a Representative in 2015.

“That was my number one bill I entered when I came up to this place. I saw the injustices done, I want to fix it, and I also said it’s time for making a change.”

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A federal judge says Michigan has to hold a special election in 2020 for certain state Senate districts, and the Legislature and governor have to come up with new political lines for the US House, state Senate and state House districts by August.

A federal panel of judges says the district lines were originally drawn in favor of Republicans.

The court opinion says, “This court joins the growing chorus of federal courts that have, in recent years, held that partisan gerrymandering is unconstitutional.”

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

A federal court in Michigan says that the state's Republican-controlled legislature unfairly drew some of Michigan's state legislative and U.S. House district lines and that a divided government will have to come up with new boundaries.

A panel of three judges said that 27 of 34 challenged districts diluted the weight of people's votes and that every challenged district is unconstitutional.

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