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Michigan veterans' facilities are getting new reporting requirements

Veterans Day in Flint.
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Veterans Day in Flint.

Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill Wednesday that requires the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency, its successor agency, or the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) to send reports to the governor and Legislature four times a year. The reports must examine issues like timeliness of medication distribution, how patient’s money is accounted for, and staffing levels.

Representative Holly Hughes, R-White River Twp., was a sponsor of the bill. She said the reporting is necessary given the constant turnover in state government.

“We have 60 new members coming in in January,” she said. “So no matter who’s here, I want that report in front of them quarterly so they can respond quickly and not every other year to make sure that we’re on top of things for our veterans.”

The report must also examine issues that raised eyebrows during an audit of a Grand Rapids veterans’ facility last February like staffing levels and patient complaints.

“It’s really important that these quarterly reports come to the veterans’ affairs committee in the House and also in the Senate, so that we can keep an eye on it,” Hughes said. “Particularly with the problems that we’ve had at the Grand Rapids home according to the Auditor General’s report.”

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