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Team Of Michigan Lawmakers Ready To Examine Flint Water Crisis

Feb 24, 2016

Flint Water Samples
Credit MPRN

State lawmakers have created a joint House and Senate committee to look into the Flint water crisis.  


State lawmakers will hold hearings on the Flint water crisis and the state’s response.  Legislative leaders on Tuesday announced a joint state House and Senate committee to review reports on what happened in Flint and make policy recommendations to avoid a similar crisis in the future.

Republicans were quick to say that it’s not an investigation, and that the panel will not have subpoena power.  “I don’t think that we need to have subpoena power,” said Senator Jim Stamas (R-Midland), who will chair the panel.  “This is not an investigation.  This is an oversight.  How do we make sure we improve the process? How do we make sure we’re taking care of Michigan?”

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) will serve as the top Democrat on the committee and is the only Flint lawmaker on the six-person panel.  He’s been calling for legislative hearings into the crisis for months and says subpoena power is crucial.  When people come and say things that are knowingly untrue, as has been happening in the last seven months, they’re going to want to have that subpoena power.  And I’m going to have the resolution ready,” Ananich told reporters on Tuesday.  “I think once these individuals have been lied to as many times as I have, they’re going to want it.”

Meanwhile, lawmakers sent a $30 million emergency spending bill to Governor Rick Snyder’s desk on Tuesday.  The money will help Flint with unpaid water bills.  The governor requested the money earlier this month.

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— Jake Neher is the State Capitol Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at 734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org