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$28M emergency funding for Flint nears vote in state Senate

Inside the Michigan Senate
Lester Graham
Michigan Radio
The Michigan Senate chamber. Democratic Party leaders will name a replacement tonight for their 20th district candidate.

The state Senate could vote as soon as Thursday on emergency funding to help address Flint’s water crisis.

A state Senate panel unanimously approved the $28 million on Wednesday, as well as a provision meant to guarantee all Flint kids age zero to three have access to free developmental screenings paid for by the state.

“We’re actually investing directly in those kids in Flint that are most likely to have been ill-affected by lead poisoning,” said state Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr., D-Meridian Twp.

“To me, that’s the most important thing we can do. We’ll never know which of those kids were poisoned with lead, but we do know that it has severe neurological effects.”

The largest portion of the $28 million would go toward buying and distributing bottled water and filters. The panel actually scaled that portion back a bit – in part due to a large amount of donated bottled water coming to Flint. About $2 million would instead be spent on health screenings.

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