Riley Beggin

Riley Beggin is a Capitol reporter covering Michigan politics, including legislative, gubernatorial and other statewide elections. She joined Bridge in January 2018 after working at 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 or call her at 517-657-3580.


Score one for bipartisanship: Michigan Dems, GOP pass ‘raise the age’ bills

October 16, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The legislation would make 17-year-olds automatically treated as juveniles in criminal proceedings. Advocates say it will help curb recidivism among young offenders. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to sign the legislation.

Michigan Republicans want to rein in Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget power

October 10, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting, Riley Beggin

Republicans explore taking power away from Whitmer, as her Democratic allies submit bills to restore some unpopular budget cuts, including $1 million for an autism program and $34 million for rural hospitals.

Senate panel passes bills to try 17-year-olds as juveniles in crimes

October 10, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The ‘Raise the Age’ package would treat 17-year-olds as juveniles in the eyes of the law, allowing them access to education and rehab unavailable to adult prisoners.

Michigan Republicans jockeying to override Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget vetoes

October 8, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting, Riley Beggin

Ahead of a Thursday meeting with the first-term governor, GOP lawmakers are drafting bills to restore funding for popular programs Whitmer cut including an autism hotline.

Michigan has $1B left over from budget. What happens to all that money?

October 7, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Now that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has gone on a line-item veto spree, some $947 million in taxpayer money is unspent. Time is running out, but Whitmer says ‘all is not lost’ and there’s still an opportunity to salvage programs.

Michigan businesses don’t have to choose between safe water and bottom line

October 3, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Michigan’s freshwater resources don’t have to be in conflict with smart business investment and partnerships, experts said Thursday at the Center for Michigan’s Water Summit in Lansing.

Here are the winners and the losers in Michigan’s new budget

October 2, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer line-item vetoed nearly $1 billion of the budget and shifted $625 million. Michiganders are left with a budget that advocates say will help make drinking water safer and preschool more reliable but college tuition higher.

What Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's budget cuts and shifts mean to Michigan residents

October 1, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Jonathan Oosting

 No money for Pure Michigan and less for rural hospitals. More money for Medicaid work rules and water testing. How Gretchen Whitmer’s nearly $1 billion in changes could have a big impact on everyday residents.

Gretchen Whitmer uses line-item veto – 147 times – on GOP’s Michigan budget

September 30, 2019 | Riley Beggin, Jonathan Oosting

Government shutdown avoided, as Whitmer cuts nearly $1 billion in the $59.9 billion budget through line-item vetoes. But a bigger battle could be looming, as she plans to invoke a rarely used power to change the Republican-approved budget.

Michigan law limiting ballot drives unconstitutional, court rules

September 27, 2019 | Riley Beggin

 The law places a 15 percent cap per congressional district on signature gathering for ballot initiatives. The court said that unfairly hampers the public’s rights.

Michigan GOP budget contains 7 big surprises for Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

September 26, 2019 | Jonathan Oosting, Riley Beggin, Ron French

Tucked inside the $59.9 billion budget, Michigan legislators have proposed big cuts to the Department of Education unless it creates A-F school grades, shifts money for redistricting and requires the construction of a controversial psychiatric facility in Caro.

Michigan House considers expungement of marijuana, traffic convictions

September 24, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The package would make hundreds of thousands more Michiganders eligible to set aside criminal records. Some Democrats question why they don’t automatically set aside lesser pot convictions, rather than requiring people to petition a court. 

Michigan’s Republican Legislature sends budgets to Whitmer — vetoes expected

September 24, 2019 | Riley Beggin

 A one-time road funding increase and cuts to the Secretary of State’s office are among the Republican budget decisions that Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has strongly opposed, and may veto. 

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.