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

The Michigan State University Board of Trustees held a closed door meeting Friday (Jan. 19). They looked at the school’s response to the Larry Nassar case.

Some Michigan lawmakers have been calling for the resignation of MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. This was a developing story. We added updates as they came in.

Some DTE Energy customers say the utility is bullying them for refusing smart meters, and they want the state Legislature to do something about it.

A state House committee heard testimony Tuesday about complaints that DTE wrongly shut off their power. Most of them say it’s because they didn’t want to use a smart meter.

Jamie Chimner of Cheboygan said her power was recently cut off by DTE. She said it was because she didn’t want a smart meter on her house.

The state got an idea Thursday of how much money it could have for the next couple years.

Economists gathered for the Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference Thursday. Michigan won’t see a big economic rebound in the upcoming years. Economists told lawmakers it’s more like a slow crawl.

Gabriel Ehrlich is an economic forecaster at the University of Michigan. He predicts – barring any unforeseen national problems – Michigan’s economy will continue to steadily improve. That includes a rise in incomes.

The 2018 U.S. Senate race got a shake-up Wednesday, but not because someone was entering the race. Instead, the shake-up came from Republican Bob Young's decision to step down as a candidate. 

Legislation prompted by potential payouts related to former MSU sports doctor Larry Nassar is scheduled to be introduced next month. Lawmakers in Lansing want to prevent schools and colleges from using tax dollars to pay for legal settlements in sexual misconduct cases.

“The dollars that we as taxpayers pay should be used to better institutions, to better higher education, not to pay out for lawsuits and settlements," said state Rep. Klint Kesto, R-Commerce Twp., who is drafting the legislation.

Bills aimed at reducing the availability of opioids were signed into law today.

The new laws, among other things, require doctors to check an opioid registry before prescribing certain opioids. This is aimed at preventing people from so-called “doctor shopping."

Doctors had originally expressed reservations about having to use the registry so frequently. Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley says lawmakers waited until the system was faster and more up to date before requiring its use.

Internet gambling would be regulated under bills recently voted out of a state House committee.

The legislation would let casinos and tribal casinos get licenses from a state agency for online gaming. The casinos could then use approved software that does things like determine user age and look for addictive behaviors.

The Michigan League of Women voters is taking on the state. It says Michigan's legislative districts as currently drawn are unfair. It accuses the state and Republican controlled Legislature of drawing the district lines in secret back in 2011, then rushing the electoral map through the legislative process.

The lawsuit asks a court to declare the current electoral map unconstitutional. It also asks the court to require the state to redraw the lines fairly.

A new veterans’ home may not go in Detroit as originally planned.

State lawmakers OK’d a bill Wednesday that says the new home can go in Wayne, Oakland or Macomb counties. If the state still can’t find a place within 45 days, then it can look in the greater southeast Michigan area. The measure was part of a larger funding bill that included funding to address a chemical that has cropped up in groundwater around the state.

Members of a pipeline advisory board are criticizing a deal Governor Snyder struck with the energy company Enbridge. They are calling for the line to be temporarily shut down.

The Pipeline Safety Advisory Board, created by a governor’s executive order, met Monday. Some members raised concerns over Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, and the agreement the governor made with the company after the line showed wear on the decades-old protective coating.

Democratic lawmakers are trying once again to repeal the state’s “Right to Work” law.

Five years ago, a Republican-led Legislature made Right to Work the law of the state. It prohibits contracts that make union membership a condition of employment.

Democrats say letting people opt out of unions gives them a free ride to the benefits of the union.

Senator Hoon-Yung Hopgood, D-Taylor, is a bill sponsor. He said strong unions are important to Michigan, but Right to Work diminishes the power of unions and reduces the number of members.

When it comes to paying for special education, Michigan comes up short. By about $700 million. That’s according to a new report released Wednesday by Lieutenant Governor Brian Calley.      

Calley previously instructed a subcommittee on the Special Education Reform Task Force to explore the funding needs for special education. 

A proposal to legalize marijuana in Michigan overcame a critical hurdle Monday. The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol turned in more than 360,000 signatures to the Board of State Canvassers. Now they need to get enough signatures approved so it can go on the 2018 ballot.

So far, the measure hasn’t run into strong opposition. But Josh Hovey, who is with the coalition, says the lack of opposition right now doesn’t mean they can skimp on fundraising.

“Most successful ballot initiatives need to raise a total of about $8 million,” he said. “You know, we’ve raised about a million so far, spent about a million. We need to keep on raising money and do what we need to do to communicate to voters all across the state and that doesn’t come cheap.”

A teen was recently attacked in Muskegon County. Officials say it’s because he’s gay. Now prosecutors and lawmakers are calling on the legislature to expand the state’s hate crimes law.

A 17-year old boy was stripped of his clothes and assaulted. The evidence was clear to Muskegon County prosecutor D.J. Hilson – The teen was attacked because he was gay. But when he looked at the statute, he couldn’t charge the case as hate crime, which comes with increased penalties.

Hilson says it’s time for the Legislature to protect all citizens.

Another governor has found his place on the walls of the Michigan State Capitol.

Governor Charles Croswell’s portrait was unveiled Monday. He’s one of the so-called “Missing Governors” that the Capitol Commission has been trying to bring to the Capitol over the last couple years.