State committee concludes hearings, shifts focus to change - WNEM TV 5

State committee concludes hearings, shifts focus to change

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LANSING, MI (WNEM) -

A joint committee of lawmakers in Lansing tasked with finding solutions through policy to the Flint water crisis is now shifting their focus.

After hearing testimony from a number of residents and government officials on the crisis, the committee will form recommendations for change.

However, without hearing from key players like Gov. Rick Snyder and others, many are criticizing the shift in focus, including members on the committee.

"I think we have a lot more to do. A lot more important work to be done," State Senator Jim Ananich said.

Ananich is on the Joint Select Committee on the Flint Water Public Health Emergency. For months the group of lawmakers have been trying to piece together what caused the Flint water crisis and what to do about it now.

"To me, oversight of these departments is really important. And we had an ability to subpoena folks. We chose not to use that. To me, that was a mistake," Ananich said.

That mistake Ananich is talking about is the sudden halt of testimony at Tuesday's morning meeting.

Republican Senator Jim Stamas said 61 hours of testimony was enough.

"What we want to do is move forward and I think the residents of Flint deserve solutions to be brought forward and that's what we want to do," Stamas said. "This committee was put in place to find the solutions and to make sure that we move forward so that things like this don't happen again."

Snyder and former Flint Emergency Manager Darnell Earley were never called to testify. Some affected by the water crisis want to know if politics is the reason behind that.

"You know, I don't think that the partisan plays a role in this. I think that the citizens of Michigan deserve the solutions and that's why we've stayed focused on the solutions, not the politics of it," Stamas said.

Both Stamas and Ananich support state legislation that would send millions of additional dollars to help the Vehicle City. Those bills are working their way through the capitol.

In the meantime, Ananich wants to see the committee get to the root of what caused the water crisis.

"We need to get to the bottom of how that happened, why it happened and why it was allowed to happen, and make sure it never happens again," Ananich said.

Copyright 2016 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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