Cheyna Roth

Capital Reporter

Cheyna Roth

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for 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.

Ways to Connect

Lawyers from the state Attorney General’s Office will be in front of the Michigan Supreme Court Wednesday. The twist? They’ll be arguing both sides of the same issue.

The Michigan Supreme Court is unsure if it can weigh in on the method used to change Michigan’s minimum wage and earned sick time laws, and it wants Attorney General Dana Nessel to weigh in.

People elected to tribal offices are exempt from a portion of the constitution that involves who can run for state and local offices. The Michigan Supreme Court issued an opinion Monday.

Wikimedia Commons

You’ve likely been seeing fireworks in the sky celebrating Fourth of July early, but because of a new law you might not see them throughout the weekend depending on where you live.

Wikimedia Commons

Anti-abortion groups will soon be on sidewalks and at events around the state, asking voters to support ballot measures that would restrict abortion in Michigan.

Zoe Clark / Michigan Radio

The money will be distributed to a variety of areas, including funding for implementing parts of the new Lead and Copper Rule for drinking water.

Groups with ballot measures to restrict abortions in Michigan could be gathering signatures soon. A state board approved the 100-word summaries and forms of their petitions Wednesday. Now the groups just need to get a final stamp of approval before they can start asking Michigan voters for their support.

STEVE CARMODY / MICHIGAN RADIO

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. 

Democratic lawmakers and Governor Gretchen Whitmer say it’s time to expand protections for Michigan’s LGBTQ people.

Some lawmakers have been trying for decades to expand the state’s Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act. New bills would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in the act. That would mean that people could not be denied housing or fired simply because they are LGBTQ.

Michigan House of Representatives

State Representative Larry Inman (R-Williamsburg) was in federal court Tuesday for an arraignment on multiple criminal charges.

ADOBE STOCK

Five current or former Catholic priests from Michigan dioceses have been charged with sexual abuse crimes.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel made the announcement Friday. This is part of an ongoing investigation into each of the seven Catholic dioceses in the state for potential abuse, which Nessel said earlier this year could take two years or more.

“This really is just the tip of the iceberg and our work continues day in and day out as we seek justice for the hundreds, perhaps even thousands of victims of clergy abuse in our state,” said Nessel.

The list of who can administer emergency opioid overdose medication in Michigan could grow.

Michigan Heartbeat Coalition

A Michigan group wants to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. This would effectively ban abortions after around six weeks. The Michigan Heartbeat Coalition filed ballot petition language with the Secretary of State Tuesday.

Michigan students are a signature away from getting four snow days forgiven after a brutal winter left some schools closed for weeks. The state Senate sent the bill to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s desk Thursday. 

A state Senate committee approved a budget provision to financially penalize communities with sanctuary city policies. 

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.

CARLOS OSORIO / AP

Originally published on April 25, 2019 8:07 pm

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.

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.

The leader of the state Senate Republicans says he’s not in favor of the Secretary of State’s call for candidates to disclose their financial information.

A new task force will explore who is in Michigan’s jails and why they’re there. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Wednesday. 

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State lawmakers want to put in place a final deadline for medical marijuana facilities to get a license, or not be able to stay open.

A state House committee unanimously passed a bill Wednesday. It gives a June 1st deadline for facilities – and if they stay open without a license, the facility can’t get a license for a year.

Cheyna Roth / Michigan Public Radio Network

The state Attorney General’s Office is trying to show that the former Michigan State University president lied to investigators to protect the university.

Lou Anna Simon was in court Monday for the second day of a hearing to determine whether Simon should stand trial for charges that she lied to law enforcement.

The governor’s office, Legislature, attorney general’s office and the Michigan Supreme Court are joining forces to try and prevent the abuse of vulnerable and elderly adults.

The National Council on Aging estimates one in ten older adults are victims of elder abuse in the United States. It can be physical abuse, keeping people isolated, even theft.

Nessel says elder abuse is a problem that transcends geography, religion and race.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed her first bill into law Thursday. The new law will keep a judge’s seat in a court in the Upper Peninsula. 

It could be a challenge to end the practice of shifting money meant for K-through-12 education to higher education. 

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