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Flint lawmaker wants part of budget surplus spent on water crisis

Jan 18, 2016

Flint State Representative Sheldon Neeley would like to hear Governor Snyder commit to spend part of a budget surplus to address Flint’s water crisis during his State of the State address. 

Rep. Sheldon Neeley, D-Flint (right), appeared with Rev. Jesse Jackson at a Flint Water Crisis rally on Sunday
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Last week, state budget officials estimated Michigan will have a $575 million, one-time revenue surplus this year.

Neeley knows where he would like the money to be used: Flint’s water emergency.

“The governor himself declared this is an emergency,” says Neeley. “An emergency means something. It means direct and immediate action. And so if we have a surplus, all other needs of the state need to take a back seat to what has been declared as an emergency.”

President Obama signed an emergency declaration for Flint and Genesee County. The declaration frees up some federal funding and brings FEMA into the mix. 

The governor is expected to discuss Flint’s water crisis in his State of the State address tomorrow.

In addition to Flint’s water crisis, there are calls to spend the one-time budget surplus on fixing Michigan’s roads and to some away in the state’s rainy day fund.