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)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she’s angry with the Republican-led state Legislature. 

That’s because it won’t be holding a session for the next two weeks – and it hasn’t finalized the budget.

“No one in Michigan, no one in any other field is allowed to go on a vacation until they get their work done. They’re expected to work and stay at the job until they’ve gotten their work done. That’s exactly what we need to demand of our leaders in Lansing as well,” she says.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed a spending bill worth more than $28 million.

The money will be distributed to a variety of areas. That includes funding for implementing parts of the new Lead and Copper Rule for drinking water. The $3 million for the Lead and Copper Rule will be used for things like water filters and drinking water investigations in homes.

The money is also being used for the Double Up Food Bucks program and the state’s Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation fund.

Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Education advocates – from teachers to lunch staff – filled the state Capitol lawn Tuesday. 

The state school aid budget is still being worked out by lawmakers in the Legislature, but protesters at the Capitol want to make sure that the final product has enough money for K-12 schools.

Donna Jackson is the president of a Detroit union that represents paraprofessionals – or school staff. She says she wants the Legislature to adopt Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s spending plan. And the half billion dollars in additional money it calls for.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   All remaining criminal charges of city and state officials stemming from the Flint Water Crisis have been dismissed. 

The investigation was started by former Attorney General, Bill Schuette in 2016 after lead contaminated Flint’s drinking water when the city switched its water sources. Earlier this year, new AG Dana Nessel created the Flint Water Crisis prosecution team to handle the multiple pending cases and investigation going forward.

housedems.com

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Some Michigan lawmakers are trying – once again – to pass legislation that would require elected officials to file financial disclosures. It’s an issue that lawmakers have been trying to get past the finish line for decades. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A jury is expected to begin deliberations Tuesday in the trial of former Michigan State University Dean William Strampel, who is accused of two felonies and two misdemeanors. 

Strampel was the dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine at MSU. Prosecutors say he used his position as dean to try to get sexual favors from female students. They also say Strampel did not properly oversee Larry Nassar after an internal investigation. Nassar is the former MSU sports doctor who sexually assaulted his patients for years.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state department in charge of Michigan’s prisons is not happy with a proposed spending plan in the state Legislature. 

A spending plan for the Michigan Department of Corrections passed out of a state House committee last week. It would redirect millions of dollars that previous budgets had allocated for certain projects – like prison maintenance – to other priorities.

Chris Gautz is a spokesman for the department. He says this could cause funding problems within the department.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order to, in part, create a new Unemployment Insurance Appeals Commission. 

This comes after tens of thousands of Michigan residents were falsely accused of unemployment insurance fraud due to a computer error.

Whitmer says the old system was not efficient. It combined workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance appeals.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Some Republicans in the state Senate have introduced bills that would drastically limit when a woman can get an abortion.

The bills would prevent an abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected. That’s usually at around six to eight weeks of gestation. There would be an exception where the life of the mother is at stake.

Republican Senator Ed McBroom is a bill sponsor. He says he’s been thinking about tying heartbeats to abortion for a long time.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republicans in the state Legislature are taking on Attorney General Dana Nessel over a law she says is unconstitutional. 

Lawmakers announced Wednesday that they’ve filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for not implementing a 2018 ballot petition law. The law adds additional requirements for collections of signatures to get a measure on the ballot.

Republican Representative Jim Lower sponsored the original bill that became law. He says there’s a lot of ambiguity over how much weight the AG’s opinion really has.

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