In his sixth State of the State address tonight, Governor Rick Snyder outlined a plan to deal with the short-term damage wrought by the Flint water crisis.
Snyder was contrite in the speech, during which he laid out the many failings of state and local government in the decision to pump water from the Flint River.
“I’m sorry, and I will fix it,” Snyder said. “Government failed you.”
Among other things, Snyder’s plan includes $28 million for:
- Purchasing bottled water and filters
- A study of Flint’s water infrastructure integrity, using outside experts
- Replacing plumbing fixtures in schools, daycares and other “high-risk” facilities
- Education about toxic stress and related health issues
Flint's man-made disaster has been festering for more than a year. The city was being run by a state-appointed emergency manager when it made the decision to get cheaper tap water from the Flint River. After that switch, the state's environmental regulators misdirected city officials on how to treat the water. And when local pediatricians produced data showing more kids were being exposed to lead, state officials initially discredited the findings. The Department of Justice and Michigan's attorney general are looking into the matter.