Peters Statement in Advance of Gov. Snyder State of the State Address
Detroit, MI – U.S. Senator Gary Peters issued the following statement in advance of Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s annual State of the State Address tomorrow:
“As Governor Snyder prepares to deliver his State of the State address tomorrow, he should use this opportunity to outline concrete steps he will take to right the colossal wrong that has taken place in Flint as a result of inconceivably short-sighted decision making on the part of his Administration.
“The effects of Flint’s water crisis are far-reaching and varied in nature, and the Governor’s plan should include a number of elements to meet the sweeping challenges now facing the community. The State must dedicate significant resources to repairing the aging pipes that leached lead into people’s water due to lack of corrosion control measures. They must reimburse Flint residents for their water bills, rather than adding insult to injury by forcing cash-strapped residents to pay for tainted water that was contaminated through no fault of their own. Additionally, the City of Flint should be reimbursed for the cost of reconnecting to the Detroit water system, as well as the costs of legal fees incurred from the State’s decision to cut costs by using the Flint River as a primary water source. And the State must stand prepared to ensure the total and complete safety of the Karegnondi Water Authority pipeline before any future water transitions occur.
“While financial compensation for the City of Flint is a necessity, the State’s greatest responsibility is to Flint’s children, who will suffer the effects of lead exposure for years to come. I have joined my colleagues, Senator Debbie Stabenow and Congressman Dan Kildee, in calling on the State to establish a “Future Fund” to address the long-term damage, including the health and educational needs of children exposed to high lead levels. From reading and math intervention to health and nutrition education, the children of Flint will need every resource at our disposal to ensure they have a shot at a successful future.
“While I remain committed to working in Congress to secure federal resources, it is imperative that the State step up and fulfill its moral obligation to the people of Flint. This crisis has eroded trust between Flint residents and State of Michigan, which has failed to live up to its basic responsibility of protecting the public health. It will take time to rebuild that trust, and Governor Snyder must use this opportunity to demonstrate a willingness to correct the drastic mistakes that led to this disaster.”
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