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Michigan House Expected To Pass Emergency Spending Bill For Flint

Flint Water
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Legislation to send more state aid to Flint could move through the state House this week.  

The state House could take up another emergency spending bill this week to help address the Flint water crisis.  The state Senate has already unanimously approved the bill – which would set aside $30 million to help Flint with unpaid water bills.  The chair of the House Appropriations Committeesays the panel will review the bill this week.  “We’re looking at just some of the language – make sure the money gets to the right place.  There’s a couple little things we’re probably going to tweak in there, but I don’t think the numbers or anything is going to change,” said state RepresentativeAlPscholka (R-Stevensville).

Officials from Flint have said the city needs at least twice what’s set aside in the legislation to address the problem.  But Pscholka says $30 million is adequate.  “I think it’s a pretty fair representation of water that couldn’t be used that you shouldn’t have to pay for,” he said.  It’s not clear how fast the bill will move once it gets to the House floor.  

The Legislature quickly approved $28 million earlier this year for immediate needs like bottled water and filters.  State House Speaker Kevin Cotter (R-Mt. Pleasant) says he’s not in as much of a hurry to hold a vote on this round of emergency spending.  “(It’s) something that’s important overall. But I wouldn’t characterize that as urgent as the previous supplementals were,” Cotter told reporters late last week.

Governor Rick Snyder is asking lawmakers to approve a total of $195 million in the upcoming budget year to help address the Flint water crisis.  

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— Jake Neher is the State Capitol Reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

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