Governor Snyder included tens of millions of dollars to help fix the Flint water crisis in his proposed budget.
Nearly $49 million of the governor’s $56 billion dollar budget blueprint would go toward funding programs aiding in Flint’s recovery. Money is earmarked for early childhood and other health related programs.
The governor says the funding will help continue many programs already in place.
Snyder also wants to put another 25 million dollars into a reserve fund to pay for other needs. That raises some concern with one Flint lawmaker.
State Senate Democratic leader Jim Ananich is from Flint. He wants the money to be spent to help Flint residents recover from the effects of their lead tainted tap water.
“This taxpayer money should be used to replace pipes, to make sure children who’ve had developmental issues get the services they need,” says Ananich, “and not to pay off lawsuits.”
The governor and the state are named as defendants in numerous lawsuits. There are also criminal investigations. The state is paying for legal representation for the governor and others.
Flint’s mayor says she’s pleased with the governor for including money for Flint in his budget proposal.
"I was glad to hear the governor say that it is ‘simply unacceptable’ for Flint residents to have to rely on bottled water and water filters just to drink a glass of water or safely cook a meal,” says Mayor Karen Weaver.
Though she adds, her city needs more support to replace at least 20,000 lead tainted service lines connecting Flint homes to city water mains.