Michigan Senate OKs $30M for Flint water bills

This Jan. 21, 2016 photo shows the water tower at the Flint, Mich., water plant. (Perry Rech/American Red Cross via AP)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Senate has acted quickly to finalize legislation authorizing $30 million in supplemental aid to help pay Flint residents’ water bills amid the city’s crisis with lead-tainted water.

Lawmakers approved the legislation unanimously Tuesday after the House passed the bill last week with minor revisions. It now goes to Republican Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.

Senators voted to send the final version of the legislation to Snyder a day after a University of Michigan Flint professor said the city has more than 8,000 old lead pipes running from water mains to homes and businesses.

State regulators failed to require Flint to treat river water with anti-corrosion chemicals when its water source was switched in 2014, allowing lead to be scraped from aging pipes and into drinking water.

Snyder released the following statement on Tuesday:

“The Legislature’s approval of this $30 million plan to assist with Flint residents with water bills is a testament to the state’s continued commitment to helping during this crisis. I thank my partners in the House and Senate for their unanimous support and swift action.

“The safety and well-being of Flint families remains our top priority. Our plan is to provide credits, covering the cost of water used for drinking, cooking and bathing. We’ll work with city leaders on how these credits are applied.

“This will bring total emergency funding dedicated by the state to $70 million, demonstrating our commitment to helping Flint recover and move forward.”

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