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Whitmer’s picks for key offices start Advice and Consent hearings in good shape

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Several members of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s cabinet are likely to get to keep their jobs. The state Senate began its Advice and Consent hearings this week for several directors appointed by Whitmer. There are more hearings to come.

The committee heard from appointees to the Department of Transportation, Michigan State Police, children’s ombudsman, and state treasurer.

Republican Senator Peter Lucido chairs the committee.

He says, “I think the ones that we’ve already done – not those ones that are coming – but those that were done clearly have the ability to do the job which they’re charged with.”

Lucido says he’ll likely hear from the new director of the Department of Health and Human Services next week.

Whitmer says Lucido and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey have been fair during the process.

“Senator Shirkey and Senator Lucido have been very good about making sure that my cabinet members have had a chance to go in and sit down with them. I know they’ve have very productive talks and I feel pretty good about that.”

Lucido says the hearing process is still open for the 60 days the Senate has to reject each of Whitmer’s appointments. But he says so far, he hasn’t seen anything that would make him want to discard Whitmer’s picks.

“So if we discover or find or somebody sends to us information that would lend itself to saying, ‘hey wait a minute you better stop this from going down’ then we have an obligation to bring it to another part of a hearing to ask the questions.”

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
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