LANSING — State Representatives Phil Phelps (D-Flushing) and Sheldon Neeley (D-Flint) are applauding their House and Senate colleagues for the fast pace at which House Bill 5220 traveled through both chambers of the Legislature. In its second pass through the House, the bill once again passed unanimously, 106-0. It will now head to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.
“Expediency was the key in this legislation, and I couldn’t be happier that my colleagues in the House and Senate worked so quickly to push through my bill and make sure that Flint gets the money it so greatly needs,” said Rep. Phelps, the bill’s sponsor. “Every day we wait is a day too long for the residents of Flint, and I hope this is only the beginning of aid funding for the community.”
HB 5220 was changed slightly when it went to the Senate, with $3 million for bottled water and filters removed, since there has been an outpouring of private support and donations in that area. Instead, $500,000 will be used for school nurses, $1 million for food banks and nutrition and $1.75 million for assessments on lead exposure for roughly 4,500 toddlers and babies aged 0-3.
“Everyone must understand that the problems faced by Flint are not limited to getting clean drinking water, as important as that is,” Rep. Neeley said. “We must look at the long-term problems that families and children will be facing due to this crisis. With $28 million, we will be able to begin the healing, both as a community as well as individually, but the road is long and treacherous from here. The aid must not stop.”