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Rick Snyder

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder
Gov. Rick Snyder

The Michigan State Police wrapped up an investigation into what happened at the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality during the Flint water crisis more than a month ago. But Gov. Rick Snyder says he hasn’t seen the final report.

According to a state police spokeswoman, on Jan. 24, 2016, MDEQ Director Keith Creagh requested assistance from the MSP with conducting an internal, administrative investigation of MDEQ employees for violations of DEQ policies and work rules.

An investigator from MSP’s Professional Standards Section assisted DEQ’s human resources staff.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Time is running out for the petition drive to recall Governor Rick Snyder.

A spokesman says the Stop Snyder petition drive has collected around 400,000 signatures. 

Gov. Snyder speaks to a crowd at Northwestern High School in Flint, MI.
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Governor Snyder made a surprise appearance before the crowd of about of 1000 people in Flint waiting to hear from President Obama.

He was instantly and loudly booed by the crowd at Northwestern High School.

The crowd refused to quiet down for several moments, even as Snyder tried to speak.

Listen to his remarks below:

Jack Lessenberry
Michigan Radio

This Week in Michigan Politics, Jack Lessenberry talks about Gov. Rick Snyder's plans to meet with President Obama in Flint today, teacher sickouts in Detroit and the future of the presidential campaign, now that the Indiana primary is over.

Six days ago, when it was first announced that President Obama was finally coming to Flint, Governor Snyder sent word from Europe that he was busy and didn’t plan to be in town that day. It was instantly clear that this was a huge political mistake.

Governor Rick Snyder
Rick Snyder for Michigan / Facebook Page

FLINT, Mich. - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will greet President Barack Obama at a Flint airport and talk to him about efforts to solve the city's drinking water mess.

Spokesman Ari Adler says the Republican governor is pleased to try to seek more federal support for Flint during Obama's visit Wednesday.

President Barack Obama
Pete Souza / White House

When President Obama visits Flint on Wednesday, many are wondering if Gov. Snyder will meet with him. Early signs indicated "no," but this morning, Snyder asked to meet with the president and Flint's Mayor Karen Weaver. The It's Just Politics team of Zoe Clark and Rick Pluta tries to make sense of it all.

President Obama is planning to fly into Flint later this week to check in on the response to the city’s drinking water crisis and Governor Rick Snyder doesn’t plan to follow along on the presidential visit.

So, the question becomes: can the governor of Michigan really altogether snub the president of the United States?

Snyder has certainly tried to lay an equal share of the blame for what went wrong in Flint on problems caused by the federal government and its layers of bureaucracy.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder
A Healthier Michigan / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

Russell Padmore, a business correspondent from the BBC, talks about what Gov. Rick Snyder is doing on his European trip, and how much of an impact foreign visits by American elected officials can have.

Listen to the full interview on Stateside below. 

Flint water crisis protest
steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Two years ago today, the city of Flint switched its drinking water source from the Detroit River to the Flint River ​– water we now know was not treated with corrosion control chemicals. Water that went on to corrode pipes and cause lead to leach into people's drinking water.

Governor Snyder left for Europe this weekend in a quest for jobs and economic investment for Michigan but he’s also heading overseas in an effort to reclaim the two and half years he has left in office.

Since January, Snyder has basically been the governor of Flint (not that Flint residents are too happy about that).

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver is “not impressed” by Governor Snyder’s pledge to drink only Flint water for the next 30 days. 

The governor made the pledge to drink filtered Flint water yesterday.

“I’m going to start drinking that tonight and do that for the next 30 days … when I’m at work and at home,” Snyder told reporters on Monday. The governor says he wants to be a “role model” to show filtered Flint tap water is safe to drink.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Rick Snyder is pledging to drink filtered Flint tap water for the next 30 days. 

People in Flint don’t trust that special filters are enough to clean lead from their tap water. In many homes, the level of lead in unfiltered tap water is well above the federal action level of 15 parts per billion. 

In Flint today, the governor encouraged city residents to trust the filters. Snyder says he filled up several gallon jugs today at a home with a lead service line that has tested above the federal action level for lead in the past.

Gov. Rick Snyder said in a press release: "Heidi [Grether] has decades of experience in environmental quality issues, and has effectively served during times of crises and recovery."
Michigan Radio

Democrats in the Legislature say they’ll try to stop the state from spending taxpayer dollars on Governor Rick Snyder’s criminal defense team.

State Rep. Sam Singh, D-East Lansing, says the state is responsible for defending the governor against civil lawsuits. But he says the governor should pick up the costs of his own criminal 

“You know, I would suggest the governor do what other elected officials have done and create his own legal defense fund, which the law allows for, and do it that way, and not use our taxpayer dollars for criminal defense lawyers.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder does not appear to like a state Senate plan to close two prisons and lease a private prison.  

A Senate subcommittee approved the plan last week as a way to save $15 million.  

Snyder asks,“If you’re closing prisons, why lease another?”

“I view this as part of the normal budget process…..that wasn’t part of our budget recommendation,” Snyder told reporters.

Senators are proposing closing prisons to save money as Michigan’s prison population declines.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A Michigan State University pollster says new survey numbers suggest Governor Snyder has suffered “some permanent” damage from the Flint water crisis.

MSU’s State of the State Survey polled nearly 1,000 people between December and March, during the height of the crisis.

Survey director Charles Ballard says the percentage of people rating Snyder’s job performance as “poor” more than doubled, from 21% to 44%. 

Sub Committee chair Mike Zimmer (lower left) delivers a report on new lead/copper testing as members of the governor's special Flint water team listen, including Gov. Rick Snyder and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan would have the toughest lead testing standard in the nation under a sweeping proposal unveiled today in Flint, where the drinking water is still contaminated with lead and residents remain dependent on bottled water donations.

To make sure other Michigan cities don’t suffer the same fate, Gov. Rick Snyder and a team of experts have unveiled a plan to tighten water testing regulations and lower the threshold for action.   

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

In a divided year, unity was a recurring theme at this year’s Michigan Republican Party Convention.

“Are you ready to win in 2016!” shouted Michigan state GOP chair Ronna Romney-McDaniel at the convention in Lansing.

The chief duty of the state convention is to pick delegates to the national convention this summer.   The three-way race has created divisions within the party.    

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder is once again being criticized by a top congressional Democrat.

In a letter sent to the governor this week, Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings says he has grave concerns about the governor’s recent congressional testimony on  the crisis. Cummings grilled the governor last month during a hearing into Flint’s lead-tainted tap water.

“You claimed you were working with local leaders rather marginalizing them and you claimed you were being transparent,” Cummings said in his letter to Snyder.

As if their relationship wasn’t complicated enough already, now Flint Mayor Karen Weaver is threatening to take Governor Rick Snyder and the state of Michigan to court.

Gov. Rick Snyder said in a press release: "Heidi [Grether] has decades of experience in environmental quality issues, and has effectively served during times of crises and recovery."
Michigan Radio

There is an effort under way to recall Gov. Rick Snyder. Metro Detroit pastor David Bullock is leading the charge on one of the two petitions that are circulating around the state. Recalling a governor is no easy task and thanks to recent legislation, it is even more difficult.

Bullock will need to gather more than 790,000 valid signatures in 60 days. If they are successful with the effort, there is a great deal of confusion as to what the next steps would be.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Like last week, when he testified before Congress, the Flint water crisis again dominated Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s schedule this week. 

First, the governor outlined a sweeping plan for dealing with the city of Flint’s drinking water crisis.

Then only a few days later, a task force that he appointed put the blame on his office, his appointees and two state agencies for Flint’s lead tainted water.

People in Flint are still lining up for bottled water. 

Watch the Flint task force reveal its final report

Mar 23, 2016
Flint Task Force member Chris Kolb at the podium during the press conference. Kolb is the president of the Michigan Environmental Council.
Livestream screen grab

The Flint Water Advisory Task Force released its final report on the Flint water crisis this morning at 10:30 a.m.

Snyder announces new plan to tackle Flint water crisis

Mar 21, 2016
Gov. Rick Snyder
gophouse.com

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says new comprehensive action plans will help resolve Flint's lead-tainted water crisis in the coming years.

Snyder on Monday announced the plans to improve public health, deal with old infrastructure, support educational services and boost employment.

There were political fireworks at two hearings in Washington D.C. last week that overshadowed the almost simultaneous beginning of hearings by a state legislative committee on the Flint water crisis.

Gov. Rick Snyder
gophouse.com

Governor Rick Snyder is standing by Michigan’s emergency manager law. The law was repeatedly criticized at a Congressional hearing into Flint's water crisis on Thursday, and the governor admitted emergency managers failed in Flint.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Snyder was grilled by a congressional committee yesterday investigating the Flint water crisis. 

But the governor also spent some time in Washington D.C. asking for more federal money for Flint.

The governor says he spent some time before the hearing voicing support for a bill that would spend more than $200 million on Flint’s water woes. The bill includes $100 million for Flint’s water infrastructure and more money for children’s health programs. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder testifies today before a congressional committee. He's there to explain how the water in Flint became undrinkable.

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is holding firm on its decision that certain funding the state of Michigan is requesting to help with the Flint water crisis is “not appropriate.”

This goes back to January, when President Obama approved an emergency declaration for Flint. But he denied Gov. Rick Snyder’s request for a disaster declaration because Flint’s water crisis is man-made, not a natural disaster.

The emergency declaration will bring up to $5 million in direct funding to Flint. A disaster declaration could have brought millions more.

Dohn Hoyle, the director of public policy of The Arc: "There's not been anything that we've seen ... that leads us to believe that the governor's original [mental health funding] plan makes any sense."
Matthileo/Flickr / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It is well-documented that the state of Michigan is one of the worst states when it comes to transparency and openness in government. Now, with the Flint water crisis, the issue has been brought to the forefront.

To kick off Sunshine Week, a celebration of Americans' access to public information, Stateside welcomed Jane Briggs-Bunting, the president of the Michigan Coalition for Open Government, to the show.

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