LANSING — House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills) applauded an emergency measure that will direct about $9.4 million in state funds to restore clean drinking water to families in Flint, take steps to help children who drank lead-contaminated water and ensure this situation does not happen again.
“The actions of the governor’s office and the governor-appointed emergency manager for Flint are the direct cause of the Flint water disaster,” Greimel said. “Beyond that, we must hold the Department of Environmental Quality responsible as well. There were so many opportunities to stop this before it started, so many people this had to pass through, before the switch could be made, and not a single person looking at this saw families at risk. They saw dollar signs. Therefore, it’s not just appropriate, but morally incumbent, on the state to restore clean water to families in Flint. These families are paying for the bad decisions made by the governor and his appointed administrators. It would be wrong to expect these families to pay extra to fix those mistakes.”
Under House Bill 4102, a supplemental budget bill, the state will appropriate:
- $6 million to connect Flint to the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department
- $1 million to test Flint water samples
- $1 million to purchase and install water filters
- $850,000 to the childhood lead program
- $500,000 to support programs, and
- Add three positions within the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and Licensing and Regulatory Affairs to help oversee Flint’s water system.
“The problems with Flint’s water are the direct result of the disastrous use of emergency managers to oversee several of Michigan’s cities, including some of its largest urban areas,” Greimel said. “Time and again, we have seen how the overuse of emergency managers has led to waste, corruption and the dangerous disregard for citizens’ safety. In my own district, the appointment of emergency managers has failed to revitalize Pontiac, while services to citizens have been downgraded or taken away. Cities are more than just budgets — we must do what’s right for the families that live and work in them.”