Michigan governor says to request another $195 million for Flint water

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on Wednesday will ask the state legislature for another $195 million to restore safe drinking water in Flint and help residents affected by lead-contaminated water, a spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.

The new funding request is in addition to $37 million that has already been appropriated this year by the Republican-led legislature, said Snyder spokesman Dave Murray.

“That’s a significant investment in the people of Flint,” Murray said.

The city of some 100,000 people was under control of a state-appointed emergency manager in 2014 when it switched its source of water from Detroit’s municipal system to the Flint River to save money.

That move has provoked a national controversy and prompted several lawsuits by parents who say their children are showing dangerously high blood levels of lead, which can cause development problems.

Lead can be toxic and children are especially vulnerable.

Earlier on Tuesday, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said the city would replace all residents’ pipes and was counting on state and federal help to foot the estimated $55 million bill.

Snyder, a Republican, has apologized repeatedly for the state’s poor handling of the crisis.

The $195 million includes $30 million toward providing credits on future water bills, for water not used during the crisis, Murray said.

The appropriation also would include $63 million for improving the physical, social and educational well-being of Flint children and other vulnerable residents and $37 million for safe drinking water efforts, according to the Detroit Free Press, citing an unnamed source familiar with the fiscal 2017 budget.

Murray, however, could not confirm those figures.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski, editing by G Crosse)

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