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)--   It’s the final stretch of the state Legislature’s lame duck session, and some bills won’t make it to the Governor’s desk. 

Because of a procedural rule, some pieces of legislation are effectively dead.

Before a bill can move from one chamber to another, the Legislature has to wait five days. That means any bills in their original chamber that didn’t pass last Thursday were effectively dead.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The state Senate passed legislation Thursday that supporters say could put millions of dollars toward state parks.

The bills would change the recreation passport fee to get into Michigan’s state parks. Instead of the current ability to opt-in to the passport when renewing your car’s registration, you would automatically pay for the passport unless you opt out.

Environmentalists are behind the move. Sean Hammond is with the Michigan Environmental Council.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A controversial plan to build a tunnel that houses a crude oil and natural gas liquids pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac is one step closer to reality. 

Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill Wednesday.

It creates a tunnel oversight commission and lets Snyder’s tunnel plan move forward.

Environmental groups oppose the move. They say running oil in a pipeline under the Straits is too risky for the Great Lakes.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republican lawmakers in Lansing are quickly trying to increase regulations on the signature gathering process for ballot initiatives. 

After a morning committee hearing, the state House passed the bill Wednesday night. It now goes on to the state Senate.

A controversial part of the bill would require that no more than 15 percent of petition signatures come from a single Congressional district.

Representative Jim Lower is a bill sponsor. The Cedar Lake Republican says this is about making sure people from across the state have input. 

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A bill that passed in the state House Tuesday would make it a crime to operate a medical marijuana facility without a license. 

Another portion of the bill would allow people with less than a 5-percent ownership in a medical marijuana business to skip a background check.

Opponents say this could open the door to “shady characters.”

Republican Representative Klint Kesto is a bill sponsor.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Governor Rick Snyder says he has no intention of interrupting the lame duck session. 

Protestors have been gathering in the state Capitol over the last few weeks. They’re frustrated with various bills that would do things like take away power from the Secretary of State and shape ballot initiatives that passed in November.

Some have called on Snyder to denounce the bills. He says that’s not how he governs, but…

Less than a month after the midterm elections, Republican state lawmakers in Wisconsin and Michigan are working to limit the powers of newly elected Democrats in statewide office.

Just two days after the Nov. 6 election in Wisconsin, when Democrat Tony Evers beat two-term Republican Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said a lame-duck session agenda was already taking shape.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Lawmakers are reconsidering who should oversee a proposed new, tunnel for an oil and gas pipeline under the Straights of Mackinac. 

A bill would have the Mackinac Bridge Authority oversee the tunnel, but at a hearing Wednesday people raised concerns about the largely independent body overseeing the controversial tunnel.

Committee chairman Arlan Meekhof offered few details about changes lawmakers are considering making to the bill.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Public school advocates and the ACLU of Michigan want the Michigan Supreme Court to take their case. They want the court to reverse a decision that lets the state give public money to private schools in certain instances.

In 2017, a coalition of public education leaders and parent groups filed a lawsuit. They wanted to prevent the state from giving five million dollars to non-public schools, over two years. The money is for state-mandated things, like safety drills and health requirements.

The former president of Michigan State University was arraigned Monday on felony and misdemeanor charges surrounding her involvement with the school's handling of serial sexual predator, Larry Nassar. Attorneys for Lou Anna K. Simon say she pleaded not guilty, and plans to fight the charges. Officials say Simon lied to or mislead law enforcement officers about her knowledge of details about a Title IX investigation by the school into Nassar.