LANSING, Mich. — Senator Jim Ananich (D–Flint) has released the following statement regarding legislative hearings about the Flint water crisis:
“As I’ve said since October, the Legislature has a responsibility and unique role in getting to the bottom of this crisis and preventing anything like it from happening again. We are the officials most directly accountable to the citizens affected, so we should not rely on the findings of others who are just now looking into the situation from a number of different angles.
“At the same time, we can’t go into these hearings with one hand tied behind our backs. We need to have every tool available to us, including subpoena power, and no potential solution should be off limits. The people of my community deserve nothing less.”
Sen. Ananich has repeatedly requested for more legislative oversight since last October, when he proposed a detailed plan for multiple hearings. Last month, he introduced a resolution, SR 133, that would grant subpoena power for a committee to look into the crisis.
He has suggested that the Joint Select Committee on the Flint Water Public Health Emergency be equally divided between parties so that there is no appearance of partisanship, and that at least one of the hearings take place in Flint. Also, while some have expressed that the hearings not be investigatory in nature, Sen. Ananich has stressed that every issue should be fair game — including, but not limited to, calling any witness, considering changes to the emergency manager law or discussing the gaps in the current FOIA exemptions.
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