Legislation ensures opportunity for Flint children to succeed, creates authority board to assist residents
LANSING, Mich. — Today the Senate voted in favor of legislation introduced by Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich (D–Flint) that would create a Promise Zone in Flint to help students afford a college education, and assist the city with its long-term recovery from the water crisis.
Senate Bill 999, based off the extremely successful Kalamazoo Promise, would allow Flint to become the 11th community in Michigan to establish a Promise Zone — an initiative that encourages the pooling of local resources and usage of tax increment financing to help students afford a college education.
“We need to provide more hope for young people in Flint, and a Promise Zone does just that,” Sen. Ananich said. “With this in place, college affordability will be one less barrier for our kids, and they’ll have an opportunity to get the education and training they deserve.”
Other communities in the state that have successfully implemented Promise Zones have found they help retain existing residents and attract new ones to their areas.
Senate Bill 979, the Municipal Recovery and Development Authority Act, would allow Flint to form an 11-member board to help determine long-term strategies to address the water crisis. Members — including experts in the areas of health, education and infrastructure — would be appointed, with the majority of appointees made by Flint’s mayor and city council.
“Giving our community more tools and necessary resources to manage the long-term recovery from the water crisis is the right thing to do,” Sen. Ananich said. “The authority model is a way to do this efficiently and transparently, while maintaining local control.”
Such an authority would also expand the city’s capacity to address the daily needs of its residents, while also preparing for long-term, crisis-related needs.
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