On Tuesday, January 19, Governor Rick Snyder delivered his annual State of the State address. If you missed WKAR's live statewide broadcast on publication television, of which MAFP was a sponsor, you can watch the video stream at WKAR.org.
Deviating from the typical State of the State address format, the Governor spent the majority of his speech discussing the Flint water crisis, which has embroiled his administration and received widespread national media attention, inciting calls for his resignation from Democratic presidential candidates and others. Governor Snyder apologized and promised Flint residents that he would "fix it". In response to demands for more transparency and answers as to who should shoulder the blame for the grossly negligent handling of the issue, the Governor also took the opportunity to announce the public release of two years' worth of his email correspondence.
Governor Snyder asked the legislature to commit to more than $28 million in supplemental funding for crisis intervention in Flint, to be put towards water infrastructure repairs in schools, day cares and health facilities, additional medical testing and oversight, wrap around services needed due to the irreversible effects of lead poisoning, and the purchase of bottled water and filters, among other things. The bill also includes nearly $1 million in additional funding for the Women Infant and Children's Program, as good nutrition has been shown to minimize the effects of lead poisoning. The supplemental passed out of the House unanimously this week and will be considered in the Senate as soon as next week. The Executive Budget Office was tasked with revisiting the Governor's budget proposal--set to be released on Wednesday, February 10--to determine what adjustments need to be made to accommodate the request, which will include $22 million in state general fund spending. The Federal government has also pledged $80 million in aid.
Click here for information on lead testing and what Family Physicians can do.
In addition to his prioritization of the Flint water crisis during the State of the State address, Governor Snyder addressed the urgency of the financial situation facing Detroit Public Schools, as well as economic and innovative initiatives to advance the state. Read more.