Riley Beggin

Riley Beggin is Bridge’s Capitol watchdog reporter. She lives in Lansing, where she covers Michigan politics, including legislative, gubernatorial and other state-wide elections. Riley will be reporting stories that aim to shed light on state governance and hold public officials accountable to those they serve. She joined Bridge in January 2018 after working as a digital producer for KPCC, Los Angeles’ NPR member station. Before that, she was a fellow at ABC News’ Washington Bureau and an intern with NPR’s investigative unit. Riley majored in history and international relations at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. She also holds a master’s degree in investigative journalism from the University of Missouri. You can reach Riley at rbeggin@bridgemi.com or call her at 517-657-3580.

Articles

Will this application help Michigan select a fair redistricting commission?

July 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The Secretary of State has released a proposed application to serve on the new redistricting commission. The public can offer comment through Aug. 9.

New rules to give residents of poor cities piece of Michigan pot industry

July 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The state’s marijuana regulatory industry announced rules to give license discounts for qualified residents in cities that were most heavily targeted for pot crimes. An industry official said the rules are well-meaning, but she doubts their impact.

Michigan prison inmates need job skills, but technology books are banned

July 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Basic reference books on computers and electronics, starting a business or even driving a truck are prohibited as perceived threats to the “order and security” of prisons. Officials say they are now rethinking this policy.

From pastor’s son to power broker, Lee Chatfield takes Lansing

July 8, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The youngest Michigan Speaker in a century, Chatfield says humility gained through reading Scripture has helped him navigate the political minefields of divided government. The biggest test of his leadership skills is still to come.

3 ways Michigan elections remain vulnerable — and what the state can do about it

July 2, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Elections experts say Michigan is now ahead of the curve in making sure state elections are protected against tampering. But some threats still keep security officials up at night.

Gov. Whitmer to Benton Harbor High: Raise scores, balance books or close

July 1, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The state of Michigan released details of its one-year extension to the impoverished West Michigan school district. Improve performance of its high school or it will be closed next year and students sent to neighboring districts. 

 

What the U.S. Supreme Court gerrymandering ruling means for Michigan

June 27, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Lindsay VanHulle

The high court ruled Thursday that federal courts have no role to play in ensuring states avoid drawing political lines that favor one political party over another. The decision kills a lower court decision requiring Michigan Republicans to redraw lines for 2020.

Reaction in Michigan to U.S. Supreme Court gerrymandering decision

June 27, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Lindsay VanHulle

The high court ruled Thursday that federal courts won’t handle cases challenging partisan gerrymandering. In Michigan, Republicans applauded the decision, and Democrats lampooned it.

Michigan Republican lawmakers challenge Nessel opinion on ballot drive law

June 5, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Attorney General Dana Nessel claims the Republican law, which placed new restrictions on the statewide ballot initiative process, is unconstitutional. The GOP now is going to court in a bid to force the Secretary of State to ignore Nessel’s opinion.

Whitmer urges business to back gas tax, Michigan Republicans still balking

May 30, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The Democratic governor pleaded with the state’s business leaders to pressure legislators on her $2.5 billion road proposal after signing auto insurance reform.

What the no-fault auto reform deal means for Michigan drivers

May 24, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican leaders in the legislature negotiated a big change to the state’s auto insurance laws. Here’s how the deal may impact your rates and coverage.

Bipartisan Michigan auto insurance deal reached between Whitmer, Republicans

May 24, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Lindsay VanHulle

After weeks of secret talks, and years of gridlock, the deal offers personal injury protection opt-out for some drivers, extends guaranteed PIP rate rollbacks for 8 years and stops insurers from raises based on non-driving factors.

Michigan Attorney General: GOP limits on petition drives are unconstitutional

May 22, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Lindsay VanHulle

Dana Nessel, a Democrat, said the controversial election law passed by lame-duck Republicans “creates an obstacle for voters without any support in the (state) Constitution itself.”

New ballot initiative would ban abortions in Michigan after fetal heartbeat

May 21, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The Michigan Heartbeat Coalition filed a petition that would make it a felony for a doctor to perform an abortion after around six weeks. Currently, abortion is legal until around 24 weeks.

Five months in, the precarious state of bipartisanship in Lansing

May 21, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle, Riley Beggin

Michigan’s new Democratic governor and Republican legislative leaders promised bipartisan collaboration this year as divided government replaced eight years of Republican rule. Despite skirmishes, the two sides are still talking.

Michigan lawmaker denies bribery: ‘Do you think I would stoop that low?’

May 16, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Larry Inman acknowledges writing texts that appear to show him soliciting donations from a union before a key vote. The feds accuse him of bribery and extortion. He says there’s an “explanation” for his texts. The explanation? He won’t say.

Right to Life of Michigan launches ballot drive to ban abortion procedure

May 15, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Lindsay VanHulle

One day after Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she will veto bills to ban a common second-trimester abortion procedure, the anti-abortion group said it has filed paperwork to put the issue to voters in 2020.

Michigan state rep sought bribe for vote through text messages, feds allege

May 15, 2019 | Riley Beggin

State Rep. Larry Inman, a Republican from Grand Traverse County, faces calls to resign following his indictment on charges of seeking campaign donations from a union in exchange for his vote.

Abortion limits pass Michigan House and Senate. What you need to know.

May 14, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Republican bills would make it a felony for health care providers to perform dilation and evacuation abortions, the most common second-trimester procedure. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vows a veto as Michigan joins other states in abortion battles.  

Michigan governor and Republicans at impasse on auto insurance reform bills

May 9, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Michigan Republicans say the plans will save “buckets” of money for drivers. Democrats say the plans don’t guarantee rate roll-backs nor the elimination of non-driving factors in setting insurance rates. Is there an opportunity for a grand bargain that includes road funding? 

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