The bill moved swiftly through the state Legislature – winning unanimous support in both the state House and Senate.
State Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Flint) is the top Democrat in the state Senate and has championed efforts to have the state contribute financially toward the problem. He says it was critical for lawmakers to act quickly on the funding.
“I don’t know if I have words to describe,” said Ananich. “When you live in the community like I do, in Flint, you know there’s a huge public confidence issue, there’s a huge actual issue of the quality of the water. And to pass this, it really helps take a positive step in the direction of rebuilding confidence and also addressing the issue.”
Ananich says there’s still work to do to make sure a similar crisis doesn’t happen again.
“I think obviously there needs to be a thorough investigation about what happened. And then, longer-term, we’re going to have to look at infrastructure in totality,” he said.
“But I do think there needs to be a real thorough look at what happened, assess who’s to blame, and then take appropriate steps.”
The money will help Flint reconnect to Detroit’s water system. It will also pay for more water filters, water testing, and a program to help children who have been exposed to lead.