sheldon neeley

Governor Snyder speaking at a Flint water press conference on January 27, 2016.
SnyderLive

President Obama's visit this week puts the national spotlight back on Flint and its water crisis. 

It has been four months since Governor Snyder declared a state of emergency in Flint. There were promises to fix the many problems Flint now faces because of its water. But a bill that would send the city $144 million to help fix the city's problems is still stuck in the state Legislature. 

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

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. 

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.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Updated 5:30 p.m. 

Flint has a new ally in its push for federal funds to fix the city’s water problems.

Michigan’s legislative black caucus is urging Gov. Rick Snyder to issue a state of emergency to address the continuing health concerns caused by the dangerous lead levels in Flint’s water.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The head of Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality plans to respond Monday to a demand for answers about Flint’s water woes.

Last week, State Sen. Jim Ananich, D-Flint, state Rep. Sheldon Neeley, D-Flint, and state Rep. Phil Phelps, D-Flushing, sent a letter to DEQ director Dan Wyant demanding answers to a list of questions about the safety and treatment of Flint’s drinking water.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Flint City Council may soon try to push out the city’s emergency manager.

Flint has been under the control of an emergency manager appointed by the governor since 2011. Three men have served as Flint’s emergency manager.  Darnell Earley was appointed to the job a year ago. His 18-month appointment ends next Spring. 

But that’s not soon enough for City Councilman Sheldon Neeley.

“Democracy needs to be restored, today, right now,” says Neeley.

Neeley says the current emergency manager law gives the city council the power it needs to remove Earley.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Next year, the city of Flint will charge residents higher fees in exchange for less service.

The budget plan unveiled last night was greeted with anger from city residents and city council members.

The budget plan calls for trimming 20 percent of city government workers from the payroll.   Flint police officers and firefighters are not being spared.   The emergency manager didn't include public safety officers in the budget whose positions are funded with grant money that hasn't been secured yet.