LANSING, Mich. — Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D–Flint) today called out the Snyder administration for their series of actions last week that demonstrated they prioritized public relations messaging over real results and action for those impacted by the Flint water crisis.
In a letter sent to the governor on Sunday, he also demanded swift action on efforts to provide more help to those with young children and a more aggressive approach on testing and solutions.
“Enough is enough. My community has suffered too much to be used as a pawn in some ideological battle pitting us against the federal government,” Sen. Ananich said. “The only thing I want to hear from this administration is ‘what else do you need?’ from now until this problem is fixed.”
Sen. Ananich took particular exception with the Snyder administration’s remarks last week that the federal government somehow let Michigan down denying a waiver to raise WIC eligibility, even though he suggested — before the $28 million supplemental was passed by the legislature — that state funds should be used because the federal waiver was unlikely.
He also noted that this appeal to the federal government to expand WIC happened at the same time the Republican-controlled House was preparing to hold a hearing to question the EPA — from which Governor Snyder was exempt — about the crisis. This maneuvering came on the heels of the governor’s spokesperson trying to claim that water coolers provided for state employees at a Flint office building more than a year ago could have been used by the public because there were no signs explicitly saying they couldn’t.
In his letter to the governor, Sen. Ananich requested a number of immediate actions by the Snyder administration to revert the focus back on real help for Flint residents, including:
Considering the alarming news last Friday that water from several homes in Flint are testing above the 150 ppb threshold level for lead that filters can handle, Sen. Ananich has asked for more specific information about the water testing process and questioned why a Tier-1 sampling pool has not yet been established. He also inquired as to whether all homes are at risk for high lead spikes, when the state will know whether pipes are irreparably damaged, and what their plan is for replacing them if they are.
His letter concluded with, “My community and I have lost faith in your administration and its ability to provide for the safety and welfare of the citizens of Flint. Answering these questions and fulfilling these requests as soon as possible will be one small step forward.”
The letter, available here, also requests the governor to answer critical questions about water sampling protocols and the public’s accessibility to water test results.
Click here for an overview fact sheet about the Flint Water Crisis.
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