Governor's task force calls on legislature to speed up Flint funding
A governor’s task force is urging state lawmakers to approve more money to deal with the Flint water crisis.
The Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee approved a resolution during its weekly meeting today, asking Michigan lawmakers to speed up the budget process.
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is a member of the committee. She says it’s past time for more government resources to deal with Flint’s lead tainted drinking water.
“Emergencies don’t follow budget timeline processes,” says Hanna-Attisha. “We need resources and we need resources now from the state and the federal government.”
State lawmakers have already approved roughly $70 million to assist Flint deal with its water crisis. A state Senate committee has approved $148 million in additional aid for Flint. But the full Senate and State House need to sign on.
Meanwhile, Flint residents are still relying on bottled water and filters. Many are still not bathing on a regular basis because of fear of what’s in the water.
The money’s not just needed to fix the pipes.
Hanna-Attisha says the legislature needs to approve a Medicaid expansion already allocated by the federal government.
“There are 15,000 people waiting for Medicaid, waiting for health and behavioral health services,” she says, “They can’t get that until the state legislature passes it.”
Flint is also still waiting on money from the federal government. Disagreements over where the money should come from in the budget lead the U.S. Senate to recently strip more than $200 million dollars in federal aid for Flint.