Governor Rick Snyder of Michigan
Ending the Flint Water Crisis
The governor has pledged the full commitment of the state to help heal Flint. Any resource available will be drawn on. To date, more than 21,000 homes in Flint have been visited to provide clean water resources. A new $22 million dollar state supplemental spending bill will fund additional bottled water, faucet filters and lead-testing kits for Flint households. The funding will also provide wraparound services, such as diagnostic testing, nurse visits and environmental assessments, as well as access to child and adolescent health centers. Funding also will help the city alleviate the need for water shutoffs, and old fixtures will be replaced in schools, daycares and hospitals.
The Governor’s annual budget proposal, slated this year for Feb. 10, will contain specific recommendations on long-term funding and action items that will support the residents of Flint as they recover from this crisis. Ongoing needs to be addressed include special education, long-term monitoring and health care for children with high lead levels, and studies to identify water infrastructure and service lines in need of replacement.
State funding will be a large part of the solution to Flint’s water crisis. Further support and recommendations will come from the Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee. This panel will consist of water experts, public health professionals and infrastructure experts, and Flint community members. It will analyze any long-term effects and make recommendations as to what resources are needed.
ENSURING THIS NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN
The legislature is being asked to immediately pass legislation to fund projects related to improving and upgrading water infrastructure, not just in Flint but any city with aging infrastructure. From replacing lead pipes to purchasing cutting-edge filtration systems, there can be no excuse for government failing at such a basic function. When Michiganders turn on the tap, they deserve clean, clear, safe water. It is that simple.
Gov. Snyder is also convening a commission on 21st century infrastructure, composed of the best independent experts, community leaders, and local and state officials to study Michigan’s infrastructure needs, threats, opportunities and costs. The task force will be charged with recommending action items and investments to protect our health and well-being. Top priorities will include: water and sewer infrastructure, energy and electrical grids, broadband modernization, and upgrading the aging Soo Locks, where even a 30-day outage would result in economic losses of $160 million dollars. The task force will provide a comprehensive update to the governor and the public, laying the groundwork for state and municipal actions to take place.