89.1 WEMU

Emergency Funds To Flint Approved By State Senate Panel

Jan 28, 2016

Michigan State Senate Chambers
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

A $28 million emergency funding bill for Flint could clear the state Senate today.  

The state Senate could vote as soon as today 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 ages 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 Senator Curtis Hertel, Junior. (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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— 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