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

Michigan Legislature, Gov. Whitmer head for showdown on roads, redistricting

September 19, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Republican-led House and Senate committees approve road funding at levels well below what Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has demanded. Constraints placed on Secretary of State and Attorney General offices may also draw pushback from the governor.

Dems break with Whitmer, pass small funding increase for Michigan schools

September 19, 2019 | Ron French, Riley Beggin

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is left out of negotiations as legislators boost budget for state $15.2 billion. The budget doubles the number of literacy coaches, but critics say the funding isn’t enough to improve test scores.

What to expect when you're expecting a Michigan government shutdown

September 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin

From student financial aid and liquor, to state parks and hunting and fishing licenses, here’s what services might be temporarily blocked if state leaders don’t strike a budget deal by Oct. 1.

Michigan budget negotiations break down (again) over short-term road funding

September 12, 2019 | Riley Beggin

GOP leaders want to include $500 million in road funding in the budget. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other Democrats say that may get in the way of a long-term deal to commit $2.5 billion a year that’s needed for roads.

Whitmer, GOP must solve these 5 disagreements to pass Michigan budget

September 9, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The Oct. 1 deadline for Michigan lawmakers to pass the $60 billion budget is near. Roads talks have been postponed, but there are more disagreements to solve.

Whitmer agrees to delay road funding talks to finish Michigan budget

September 9, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The surprising announcement marks a change for Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who previously vowed to veto any Republican budget plan without roads funding. The change seems intended to prevent a government shutdown on Oct. 1.

Michigan Republicans push budget without road deal, a likely no-go for Whitmer

September 6, 2019 | Riley Beggin

As a government shutdown looms, GOP leaders will begin vetting a budget plan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hasn’t signed off on. The two sides are far apart on roads and infrastructure funding and on whether to raise taxes for the effort. 

What you need to know about Michigan’s flavored e-cigarette ban

September 4, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Joel Kurth

Amid a surge in teen vaping, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer orders a ban on flavored e-cigarettes. Here’s a look at the legal, political and health implications of the nation’s first ban.

Michigan becomes the first state in U.S. to ban flavored vaping products

September 4, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The six-month ban bars the sale of flavored e-cigarettes commonly used by young people, including fruity, sweet and mint-flavored products. 

Michigan House Dem leader says Whitmer’s 45-cent gas tax is probably dead

August 29, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Republicans have said the hefty tax hike is dead on arrival. That’s why Democrats should start considering other alternatives to raise $2.5 billion for roads, House Minority Leader Christine Greig said. 

Michigan House urges resignation of Inman, who told donors ‘I need money’

August 29, 2019 | Riley Beggin

State Rep. Larry Inman, who says he’s struggling with addiction, has insisted he won’t step down. New texts submitted to court claim he sought a ‘load’ of money for his votes.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: Leaders should 'stop playing games' on roads funding

August 28, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Time is running out for legislative leaders and the governor to come to an agreement on how to spend the state’s nearly $60 billion budget.

Michigan committee approves health warning labels for marijuana

August 27, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Under the legislation, all cannabis would need to be packaged with a warning against use during pregnancy.

Pressure builds on Michigan Republicans for roads plan to avoid shutdown

August 21, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is portraying GOP legislative leaders as failing to seriously negotiate on how to raise $2.5 billion to repair the state’s roads and bridges. Now, the business community is exerting its own pressure on the GOP.

What to expect from the Michigan Legislature this fall

August 20, 2019 | Riley Beggin

State lawmakers are back in Lansing Tuesday. Here are some of the major priorities the Legislature expects to tackle before the end of the year.

Michigan’s Secretary of State promised 30-minute waits — lines are worse

August 13, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Jocelyn Benson swept into office vowing to serve customers in 30 minutes. But wait times in 2019 are at their highest in five years, up to two or three hours in some branches. Benson says it's the result of long-term underinvestment to be solved with hard structural change.

Voters Not Politicians asks to intervene in Michigan GOP redistricting suit

August 12, 2019 | Riley Beggin

VNP, the group behind the successful drive to create an independent body to draw political lines in Michigan, seeks entry in a Republican lawsuit to have that commission shut down before it starts.

Michigan board approves recall petition for indicted Rep. Larry Inman

August 1, 2019 | Lindsay VanHulle, Riley Beggin

Voters in Grand Traverse County want to recall Inman after his indictment on federal charges for alleged bribery, extortion and lying to FBI agents while in office. His attorney says he will consider an appeal on the recall petition’s approval.

Michigan Republicans sue to stop redistricting commission before it starts

July 30, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Lindsay VanHulle

Republican plaintiffs argue the independent, voter-approved commission violates their First and 14th-Amendment rights by forbidding some people with political ties from serving. They want a federal judge to stop the state state officials from seating the commission.

Michigan jails fill as crime sinks and nobody seems to know why

July 24, 2019 | Riley Beggin

As a bipartisan task force looks into Michigan’s county data, researchers at the Pew Charitable Trusts are trying to make sense of a patchwork of jail records. It’s going to be a heavy lift, with only months to get the job done.

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