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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's top appointees made official

Paul Ajegba (right) talks with people before Tuesday's Senate Advice and Consent committee meeting.
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Top appointees in Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration are officially in their jobs to stay. The time limit for the state Senate to block many appointees by Whitmer has passed.

The state Senate has 60 days to oppose an appointment by Whitmer. The oversight process has not been used much in the recent past with a Republican in the governor’s seat and a Republican-controlled Legislature. But now with a Democrat in the governor’s office, Republicans are using the oversight powers more.

Senator Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Township) is chair of the Senate Advice and Consent Committee. He says he’s spoken with every appointee before holding public hearings.

“I enjoyed getting the chance to have an interpersonal discussion as to what they believed in,” he says. "We all are rowing the boat in the same direction and we’re all trying to do the right thing for the taxpayers with what monies we’ve got, to do the business of the state.”

The Advice and Consent Committee approved Paul Ajegba as director of the Michigan Department of Transportation and Rachael Eubanks as State Treasurer – among others. The Senate is still considering Whitmer’s pick to lead the Public Service Commission. Whitmer has not announced a director for the Department of Talent and Economic Development.

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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