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.

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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. 

Michigan’s cash bail system needs an overhaul. That’s the message of bipartisan legislation introduced in the state House and Senate.

Hourly workers at schools are concerned about a bill in the state House that saves schools from having to make up some snow days. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s appointees for top level offices are in the clear. The state Senate has 60 days to object to Whitmer’s appointments. It has not objected to her picks to lead departments like health and human services, natural resources, and agriculture. And the clock has run out for the Senate to stop those and other appointments.

ZOE CLARK / MICHIGAN RADIO

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer presented her first budget proposal to the Michigan Legislature Tuesday. Whitmer says the spending plan will help improve Michigan’s roads, clean water and education. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s budget proposal is slated to include an increase in spending for kindergarten through 12th grade education. 

Whitmer will present the plan as part of her budget proposal Tuesday. She wants to put more money toward students with additional educational needs. That includes special education, low-income, and career and technical education students. 

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Last October more than 70 police officers, special agents and government officials executed search warrants on each of the seven Catholic dioceses in Michigan simultaneously. They loaded vehicles with boxes and filing cabinets – everything they could find related to potential sexual abuse by priests who have worked in Michigan from 1950 until now.

 

Attorney General Dana Nessel said at a press conference on Thursday that Michigan is the first state to execute a search warrant on the Church in this way.

Attorney General Dana Nessel is scheduled to give her first public briefing on three major state cases this week. Nessel said she’ll be joined by Michigan State Police Colonel Joe Gasper and Michigan Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud.

These are all cases that Nessel inherited from former Attorney General Bill Schuette, and Nessel has been tightlipped about her plans for these cases.

Since Governor Gretchen Whitmer took office, it’s been a lingering question whether the Republican-led Legislature can work with a Democratic governor to solve the state’s problems. During her first State of the State address, Whitmer made bipartisanship a central theme. 

The state Attorney General is working with lawmakers to make sure the wrongfully imprisoned are compensated.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s plans to restructure the state Department of Environmental Quality could be over.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order to restructure the Department of Environmental Quality could be overturned before any changes are made. 

If you think your propane provider is unfairly raising your rates during the cold snap, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel wants you to notify her office. 

Some lawmakers in Lansing want to finish what they started last year when it comes to police taking property.

Cheyna Roth

Democrats in the state Senate will try to undo a controversial bill that passed during last year’s lame duck session. The bill was signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder in late December. 

Updated at 7:23 p.m. ET

Students and faculty at Michigan State University have called for the resignation or firing of interim President John Engler almost from the day he was appointed. This week, they got their wish.

On Wednesday evening, MSU Board of Trustees member Dianne Byrum confirmed she had received a letter of resignation from Engler and that letter would be acted upon at the trustee meeting scheduled for Thursday morning.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says automotive innovation goes hand-in-hand with Michigan’s efforts to fix its roads. 

Michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive directive she says will help secure equal pay for equal work among state employees.

The directive prohibits state agencies and departments from asking about a potential employee's current or previous salaries until they give the applicant a conditional offer of employment that includes proposed compensation.

Judy Welch is the executive director for the West Michigan branch of Michigan Women Forward. She says this could help women who have historically been paid less.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued her first executive directive as Michigan’s governor. The directive requires state department employees to report threats to public health, safety or welfare up the chain of command, and it requires those threats to be investigated.

“We thought this was an important way to lead on the first day. To tell state employees we listen to them, and public health is paramount to anyone’s ego, to anyone’s agenda, to any one department’s arena,” says Whitmer.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants to know if a law passed during last year’s lame duck session is constitutional, and she’s enlisted new Attorney General Dana Nessel to look into the matter.

Outgoing governor Rick Snyder signed a law before leaving office. It created the Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority. That authority will oversee a tunnel to house a new section of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline. That pipeline carries oil and natural gas liquids under the Straits of Mackinac.

Cheyna Roth

Republicans in the state Legislature are trying to increase their power and limit the powers of statewide offices that – come January – will flip to Democrats. 

The State House made a few minor changes to the bills that the state Senate signed off on before sending the bills to the governor.

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