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)--   New bills in the state House would put Michigan’s water – including groundwater – in a public trust. 

That means that the waters would have to be reserved for the public’s use, and the state would have to protect the water for that purpose. 

Elaine Isley, Director of Water Programs for the West Michigan Environmental Action Council, said during a press conference that the state has not protected the ground water as much as the Great Lakes – and that has caused issues with contaminated drinking water in the state.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A controversial bill to allow deer and elk baiting in the state is headed to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s desk. 

Whitmer has promised to veto it.  

The state Natural Resources Commission recently banned bait and feed piles in the Lower Peninsula and parts of the Upper Peninsula. A bill passed by the state Legislature would reverse the ban and allow for baiting under some restrictions – like how big the piles can be and what size bait can be used.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Four Michigan residents, on behalf of more than half a million people who would have to work, have filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s new Medicaid expansion work requirements. 

Last year, the state submitted a waiver to the federal government. The waiver requested permission to make Healthy Michigan eligibility dependent on certain work requirements. The waiver was granted, and the new rules are scheduled to go into effect after the first of the year in 2020.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A Michigan man who was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is suing the federal agency. 

ICE says Jilmar Ramos-Gomez repeatedly told agents that he was in the country illegally. But the ACLU says the Marine veteran suffers from PTSD and other mental health problems. The ACLU says ICE should have known he was a citizen because he had a passport on him, among other indicators.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer is in Israel all week on a trip aimed at 

strengthening Michigan’s business ties with the country. The goal is to help Michigan compete for tech jobs that pay well.

Whitmer will travel between Bethlehem, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem to meet with government, business, and nonprofit leaders.

LANSING, MI (MPRN--   Illegal robocalls are not welcome in Michigan. 

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Cheyna Roth says state Attorney General Dana Nessel announced a new initiative Friday to crack down on the annoying intrusion.

Nessel is asking the Legislature to boost the penalties for illegal robocalls. And her office is setting up phone lines that are monitored by law enforcement to catch spam callers.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Democratic lawmakers are criticizing remarks by Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake). 

Shirkey said allowing abortion is comparable to “the scourge we endured when we still had slavery in this country.”

Democratic Senator Erica Geiss (D-Taylor) is African American. She said the remarks are insensitive and out of touch.

“I don’t think comparing something that is a reproductive choice…that is really nobody’s business except between her and her physician has any place in a conversation about slavery,” Geiss said.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A state lawmaker says he wants to get ahead of technological improvements in 3D printing. 

A new bill would ban 3D printed firearms. It was introduced by Democratic Representative Abdullah Hammoud. He says the technology to print components of firearms and then assemble them with other parts into guns is still new and 3D printers are expensive, but they’ve gotten cheaper over the years.

He says as technology improvements make the printers more accessible, the Legislature needs to think ahead.

Animal Planet

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Lying to your landlord about needing an emotional support animal could become a crime in the state. 

Michigan Public Radio Network’s Cheyna Roth reports bills in the state House would make it a misdemeanor.

Concerns over the bills include a potential “chilling effect” on people with mental health problems getting emotional support animals.

Democratic Representative Sara Cambensy is a bill sponsor. She doesn’t think that would be a problem.

“I think the people that need them will seek them out, regardless of our bill package.”

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A bipartisan group of lawmakers say school busses need to be more secure.

A package of bills would make it a crime to enter a school bus without the permission of the driver. In some cases, it would be a felony. The busses would also be allowed to have a sticker saying that people trying to get on without permission could be arrested.

A bigger focus of the package of bills for student transportation advocates, involves preventing people from illegally passing stopped school busses.