01.19.16

Peters Statement on Gov. Snyder State of the State Address

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today released the following statement in response to Michigan Governor Rick Snyder’s annual State of the State Address:

“The water crisis in Flint is an immense failure on the part of the State of Michigan to protect the health and safety of the City’s residents, and the State must accept full responsibility for its actions that led to this catastrophe. While I was pleased to hear the Governor speak directly to the people of Flint, I believe the plan he outlined tonight fell short of what is needed to fully address the extensive needs of Flint residents suffering from lead exposure, especially Flint’s children.

“Last week, I joined Senator Stabenow and Congressman Kildee in calling on the State to commit vital resources to help the children of Flint by establishing a “Future Fund” to meet the cognitive, behavioral and health challenges they will face in the coming years. This cannot be a one-time investment, but must be a sustained financial commitment to the wellbeing of every child affected by lead exposure that includes a significant expansion of early education.

“Additionally, Governor Snyder failed to fully explain how the State would make up for the financial hardship forced onto the City of Flint and its residents. The State must go beyond preventing immediate water shut-offs and reimburse Flint residents for the contaminated water they have been paying for over an extended period of time. The City of Flint should also not be held responsible for the costs of reconnecting to the Detroit water system or the mounting legal fees the City will face as a result of decisions made under the State’s watch.

“On the federal level, I will continue working with the Administration and my colleagues in Congress to leverage available resources from various federal agencies. However, the State has a moral obligation to make Flint whole with substantial – and continued– investments in fixing this problem in both the short and long-term.”

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