Democrats renew calls for legislative hearings on Flint water crisis


Democrats in the state Legislature say lawmakers should get an opportunity to question people under oath about the Flint water crisis.

They’ve introduced a resolution that would give a state Senate panel subpoena power to investigate the situation. They say lawmakers have a duty to exercise their oversight powers to hold public officials accountable.

“I want to get down to the bottom of why it happened and why it occurred so we hold people accountable, but also so we know what to do next time so we don’t do it again,” said state Sen. Coleman Young II (D-Detroit).

Young says he believes it’s critical that the committee is granted subpoena power, as outlined in Senate Resolution 133.

“If we’re not serious about going all the way and swearing people under oath, I don’t think we should do that. I don’t think we should play with people’s emotions, I don’t think we should waste their time if we’re not serious,” he said.

A number of state and federal investigations into the Flint water crisis are already underway.

A spokesperson for state Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R-West Olive) says there are no plans to hold hearings at the moment.

“The Majority Leader has been discussing the possibility of hearings with (Senate Democratic Leader Jim Ananich),” said spokesperson Amber McCann in an e-mailed statement.

“With a number of investigations currently underway, the Majority Leader does not wish to duplicate efforts. He has not made a final decision on the possibility of hearings, but the Senate has no specific plans, yet,” she said.