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 rbeggin@bridgemi.com or call her at 517-657-3580.

Articles

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Will this application help Michigan select a fair redistricting commission?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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