LANSING — Earlier this week, House Appropriations Committee rejected an amendment submitted by a Democratic colleague to allocate $2.9 million from the general fund to continue services in Flint critical to providing water to individuals who are disabled, homebound, elderly, and for people who have children under the age of 6 and are without transportation. A second amendment would have restored bottled water distribution to Flint, using funds generated from a tax on bottled spring water such as from Nestle. The amendments come on the heels of the governor’s office announcing that they would stop providing the bottled water to Flint residents. In response, state Rep. Sheldon Neeley (D-Flint) made the following statement:

“The people of Flint need our support now more than ever as the Snyder administration has cut off their access to free bottled water. As elected officials, we are duty-bound to protect all Michiganders, but that responsibility is even greater when protecting our most vulnerable citizens, including our seniors and children. Yet rather than providing them with the aid they so desperately need, our colleagues on the other side of the aisle are abandoning them, and preventing us from providing them the support and resources that are taken for granted elsewhere in the state. I am grateful for the teamwork involved in offering these important amendments, which would be especially vital for our homebound residents, and am equally disappointed that this amendment did not pass.

“The city of Flint is tough; there is no denying that. Our city has been to hell and back over the past four years in our pursuit of justice, and the crisis in confidence that plagues our city will take generations to overcome. Through it all, the Genesee County legislative delegation has remained committed to doing everything in our power to provide Flint with the resources and support they need, yet we continue to be thwarted by Republican leadership in the state. Just because the cameras are gone does not mean Flint’s troubles have ended. Yet time and time again, the Snyder administration is still comfortable with failing them. Though these amendments were rejected, my colleagues and I will continue fighting to see the people of Flint are given the justice and support they deserve.”