Rick Snyder

Snyder announces new plan to tackle Flint water crisis

Mar 21, 2016
Gov. Rick Snyder

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

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.

Remember that time when there was just nothing better than being a Republican governor? When it was almost a given that the next Republican candidate for president would come from the current or former GOP Gubernatorial ranks?

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Governor Rick Snyder has proposed spending $500,000 for campus sexual assault prevention programs in his budget.

  The grant money would be split among universities if lawmakers give it the green light.

  But some advocates say it's not enough for all of the programs they'd like to run. And some students at Michigan State University are critical of administrators and a university policy requiring employees to report sexual misconduct even when the survivor says he or she doesn't want the incident reported.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder's administration has a goal of creating 1,000 new jobs in Flint as a way of helping recover from the ongoing crisis sparked by lead in the city's water.

  The Detroit News  reports officials in Snyder's administration discussed the jobs goal Friday in a meeting of the governor's Flint Water Interagency Task Force.

Michigan roads
User nirbhao / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

A  new commission would help decide how to spend $165 million Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed for infrastructure fixes in Michigan.

On Thursday Snyder signed an executive order to create the 21st Century Infrastructure Commission.

The commission will be tasked with identifying long-term strategies and needs when it comes to Michigan's transportation, water and sewer, energy and communications systems.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s so much confusion about Flint’s water and sewer rates that the city is suspending mailing bills to the city’s residents.

During the past year, there’s been almost as much happening to Flint’s water and sewer bills as the city’s water pipes.

A judge last year ordered the city to roll back a 2011 and also ruled the current rates were OK.  

The city is trying to collect on some old delinquent accounts. 

Gov. Rick Snyder in a file photo.
Michigan Municipal League / Flickr - http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Governor Rick Snyder is holding firm to his vow to stay in office amid growing calls for his resignation.

Both Democratic presidential candidates called for Snyder to resign during their debate in Flint. It was the first time former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said he should step down over Flint’s water crisis.

The governor says that’s not going to happen.

“I’m not resigning, I’m going to solve this problem,” Snyder told reporters after an appearance in Detroit on Monday.

“I said I was sorry and I’m going to fix it.”

Gov. Snyder at a press conference in Flint
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Snyder hired two outside lawyers to assist him with representation in a number of ongoing legal investigations related to the Flint water crisis.

The contracts are with Eugene Driker, a civil defense attorney, and Brian Lennon, a criminal defense attorney.

Ari Adler, spokesman for the Governor, told Crain's Detroit Business and the Detroit Free Press that the outside council will help Gov. Snyder with civil representation and to search and process emails and other records connected to the crisis.

The Michigan House of Representatives in Lansing
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The top Democrat in the state House is calling on Gov. Rick Snyder to resign.

State House Minority Leader Tim Greimel, D-Auburn Hills, says he should step down “for his actions and inactions pertaining to the Flint water crisis.”

Greimel is the first high-ranking lawmaker to call on Snyder to step down since the scope of Flint’s water crisis became public and the state began action to resolve it. Snyder’s office voluntarily released emails recently that show top aides raised concerns months earlier.


Thetoad / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

In a national study, the state of Michigan finished dead last in the country when it comes to state government transparency and ethics. In categories like political financing, public access to information, lobbying disclosure and ethics enforcement agencies, Michigan’s grade was an “F” from The Center for Public Integrity and the group Global Integrity.

Craig Mauger, the executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network joined Stateside to review some of the political spending numbers from 2015.

Normally I have little or no patience with those who demand elected leaders resign or be recalled or impeached every time they disagree with them. I also think Governor Rick Snyder has had two great successes during his five years in office.

The badly needed Gordie Howe bridge would be nowhere near reality if it wasn’t for Governor Snyder, and he did a a masterful job shepherding Detroit through the bankruptcy process. Yet none of this makes up for Flint.

New emails from the Snyder administration about the Flint water crisis have been voluntarily released and the revelations have not been kind to Governor Snyder and his inner circle.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

FLINT, Mich. (AP) - Meijer arranged a donation of 1,500 water filters in Flint last summer but insisted on anonymity and even offered to give gift cards so the state could purchase them.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill into law today giving Flint $30 million to cover the city’s water bills. The governor says people shouldn’t have to pay for water they can’t drink. 

The money will cover 65% of the water bills from the past two years. Flint residents are still responsible for paying city water and sewer fees.   

Pastor Jeffery Hawkins watched as the governor signed the legislation.

“Being a Flint resident myself and having to use the water… it is so great to know that this relief has been done,” says Hawkins.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“We could have done better.”

That’s how Governor Rick Snyder reacted today to questions about revelations his top aides were talking about the need to switch Flint back to Detroit water.  A year before it was done.

After switching to the Flint River in April of 2014, the city’s tap water became contaminated with lead because the river water wasn’t properly treated.  

Emails show top Snyder aides wanted to switch the city away from the Flint River in October of 2014. But that didn’t happen until the fall of 2015.  

Gov. Snyder is taking heat regarding decisions made by his Emergency Managers that lead to the Flint water crisis
Gov. Rick Snyder / screengrab

This morning Governor Rick Snyder’s office released 2,528 pages of emails from his executive staff related to the now well-known Flint water crisis, dating back to 2011.

More emails could be released later today.

The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press got some of the emails ahead of the public release Friday and published a series of articles about what they found in the documents.

Among the revelations:

Yesterday was extraordinary because of two things no one could have foreseen a year ago. Michigan Republicans are now fully engaged in a desperate and probably doomed struggle to prevent their party from nominating Donald Trump for president.

Gov. Snyder to release more emails about Flint

Feb 23, 2016
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Rick Snyder says his office will release all Flint-related emails dating back to the beginning of his administration in 2011, including the governor’s emails and staff emails.

Gov. Snyder says they’ll come soon – but has not given a specific date and time.

Snyder says attorneys need to look over the emails and remove any documents that would normally be exempt from public information requests. The governor is releasing the documents voluntarily, as his office is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

A state elections board has approved language for another petition seeking to recall Gov. Rick Snyder.

This is the first petition approved for circulation that cites the governor’s handling of the Flint water crisis as a reason to remove him from office. The board OK’d another petition earlier this month that references Snyder’s decision to move Michigan’s School Reform Office out of the Michigan Department of Education and place it under his direct control.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Governor Snyder is expected to soon appear before a congressional committee investigating the Flint Water crisis. 

However, a top Democrat on the panel says he’s not getting the documents he needs from the governor’s office.

Congressman Elijah Cummings was in Flint today to get a first-hand look at the city’s drinking water crisis. He was part of a congressional delegation that met with local business owners and federal agency officials. 

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley
Michigan House Republicans

For months, the Michigan governor’s office has been under fire for its handling of the Flint water crisis. Who made what decision when, and who knew what and when did they know it? Those questions are being investigated, but in the mean time there have been plenty of calls for the recall of Gov. Rick Snyder and Lt. Gov. Brian Calley (how likely it is to succeed is up for debate).

Some folks profoundly unhappy with Governor Rick Snyder’s handling of the Flint water crisis will make another attempt at launching a petition drive to recall him.

LucasTheExperience / Flickr

Organizers behind six efforts to recall Gov. Rick Snyder hope to get a green light from a state elections board Monday.

The state Board of Canvassers has rejected petition language for more than 20 recall efforts in recent weeks. But it did approve one to recall Snyder for his school reform policies.

Rev. David Bullock is offering petition language related to the governor’s handling of the Flint water crisis. He says that’s the issue that will motivate voters to get behind a recall.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Chanting “No pipes, no peace," hundreds of people marched on Flint’s water plant today.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson led the marchers as they protested the city’s ongoing drinking water crisis.

Flint’s drinking water became contaminated with lead after an ill-fated decision to switch the city’s tap water source to the Flint River. Various agencies failed to ensure the water was properly treated to reduce its corrosiveness. The corrosive river water damaged aging lead pipes and lead solder, which has been leaching into the drinking water ever since.