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Gov. Snyder signs emergency funding bill for Flint

Gov. Snyder signs a bill that secures $28 million in aid to Flint on January 29, 2016 in Grand Rapids.
Gov. Snyder's office
Gov. Snyder signs a bill that secures $28 million in aid to Flint on January 29, 2016 in Grand Rapids.

Governor Rick Snyder signed a law today that’ll allocate $28 million in emergency funding to address short-term needs stemming from Flint's water crisis.

It'll pay for bottled water, faucet filters, testing kits, additional school nurses, medical treatment, and help with the city's unpaid water bills. There are also funds to hire outside experts to figure out whether Flint's water infrastructure needs to be completely replaced.

Snyder told a group of reporters and state lawmakers in Grand Rapids he hopes tests will show Flint’s water is safe in the next two or three months.

“I would hope, we all would hope, it’s sooner rather than later. But it’s not based on time; it’s based on science, facts and caution to make sure we’re doing the right thing by the people of Flint.

It’s still not clear how officials and scientists will determine when Flint’s water will be safe. But Snyder said he believes that process will be hammered out in a week or so.

Snyder said he has gotten support through what he called a “challenging” time.

“But I always remind myself, I always try to think about the person in Flint that can’t use the water coming out of the tap and what their life’s like and how they’re in a worse place than I am,” he said.

It’s been almost four months since residents were warned not to drink the tap water in Flint. Improperly treated water leached lead from pipes into Flint’s drinking water.

Snyder said he'd like to use what's happened in Flint to bring attention to infrastructure investments.

"Because this is a hidden problem that we’ve ignored not just in Flint, not just in Michigan but nationally far too long. So let’s do something about it," he said.

Lindsey Smith is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently leading the station's Amplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.