Snyder budget proposal includes $195M toward Flint water crisis - WNEM TV 5

Snyder budget proposal includes $195M toward Flint water crisis

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FLINT, MI (WNEM/AP) -

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder wants to spend $195 million more to address Flint's water crisis and another $165 million updating infrastructure across the state, including lead water pipes.

The Republican governor detailed the plans in his annual $54.9 billion budget presentation to the GOP-led Legislature Wednesday. Snyder, who has apologized for his administration's role in the disaster, says "clean drinking water is a necessity" and that he's dedicated to ensuring the problem is thoroughly resolved.

The proposal includes $25 million for infrastructure needs specific to Flint, which is grappling with lead-contaminated water.

Snyder and legislators previously directed more than $37 million toward the crisis, including funds for bottled water, filters and services.

Click here for Flint Mayor Karen Weaver's response to Gov. Snyder's budget proposal.

Gov. Rick Snyder is also proposing that Michigan school districts receive between $60 and $120 more per student in state funding in the next budget.

Lower-funded districts would get more, while better-funded districts would get less of an increase.

The $14 billion school aid fund would grow by 2 percent under the Republican governor's proposal.

This as Gov. Rick Snyder proposes that Michigan's 15 public universities get 4.3 percent more in state operations funding in the next fiscal year.

The higher education budget Snyder will unveil on Wednesday includes nearly $1.6 billion, according to his office. If approved by lawmakers, it would bring the overall university budget above the level it was when Snyder took office in 2011, when he and lawmakers cut funding by 15 percent to address a deficit.

To get all their state funding, universities would have to limit tuition increases to 4.8 percent or less.

Funding increases would range from a high of 6.8 percent for Grand Valley State to a low of 3.5 percent for Wayne State.

Gov. Rick Snyder also wants to expand a program so state police troopers patrol more Michigan cities.

He says putting state police in Detroit, Flint, Pontiac and Saginaw has reduced violent crime in those cities. In his annual budget presentation Wednesday, he asked lawmakers for $1.5 million more to expand the "Secure Cities" effort into Benton Harbor, Hamtramck, Harper Woods, Highland Park, Inkster and Muskegon Heights.

Snyder also wants to add 85 new troopers and 350 new corrections officers.

>>Click here for more on the budget proposal<<

MDP Chair Brandon Dillion responded to the Governor's budget proposal with this statement: 

"The Governor says that his budget treats the State like a family, but almost a year after his administration was warned of lead and Legionnaires' Disease in Flint's drinking water, his proposal contains no serious investments to replace the very pipes causing devastating illness and irreparable damage to the lives of children in Flint," said Brandon Dillon, Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party.  "Furthermore, the Governor still refuses to come clean and apply the Freedom of Information Act to his office, like 48 other states, so we can get to the bottom of why Flint's water was poisoned and what exactly his administration knew."

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D–Flint) issued the following statement regarding Governor Snyder’s budget recommendations:

“The priorities laid out in this proposal for Flint seem to match the areas we have been stressing for some time — health, education and infrastructure. Although this is a step forward, I'm going to keep pushing for resources to get results for the people in my community. Our challenge now is to make sure that the state delivers and we don't take our foot off the gas.”

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