Governor leading effort to correct Flint water crisis, help those affected

Published 9:38 am Thursday, January 28, 2016

The first priority of the state is the safety of its residents, and we must come together to help the Michigan residents impacted by the water crisis in Flint.

The governor recently devoted most of his 2016 State of the State address to the ongoing public health crisis in Flint.

I applaud the governor for showing leadership on a plan to move Flint in a positive direction and doing everything he can to end the water emergency.

As a father, I’m heartbroken for the kids affected by this water contamination. The immediate concern is for their health.

I’m upset by the breakdown in communication and testing that led to this terrible situation.

The governor was forthcoming about the problem in Flint. He explained the actions already being taken to help Flint residents, including daily door-to-door distribution of bottled water, water filters, filter replacements and water testing kits.

He detailed short-term funding to ensure everyone in Flint has clean water and to cover costs like treatment of children with high lead levels, including diagnostic testing, nurse visits and environmental assessments.

The governor’s budget this year is expected to be unveiled on Feb. 10 and will likely include funds for long-term health monitoring for children exposed to lead in the water and potential replacement of water infrastructure and service lines.

The Flint water crisis is an example of our deteriorating infrastructure. Many cities have aging water systems and pipes that need to be upgraded. It is also an illustration of the need for more effective government that works better for its people.

Michigan residents deserve a responsive, effective and accountable government at the local, state and federal levels to meet their most critical needs — such as ensuring safe drinking water.


Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, represents Southwest Michigan.