New joint committee to review Flint water crisis

Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof and Speaker of the House Kevin Cotter today announced the creation of the Joint Committee on the Flint Water Public Health Emergency to review the findings surrounding the Flint water crisis, take testimony on the mistakes at all levels of government that led to this situation and explore potential policy solutions to prevent a similar disaster in the future.

The committee is made up of three members from each chamber of the Legislature, with Sen. Jim Stamas as Chair and Rep. Ed McBroom and Sen. Jim Ananich as co-vice chairs.  Majority Leader Meekhof and Speaker Cotter both accepted the recommendations for Democratic representation from their Democratic counterparts.

“No Michigan citizen should be concerned about contaminated water,” said Majority Leader Meekhof, R-West Olive.  “The families and children of Flint deserve better from government—all government.  This committee will provide the opportunity and the forum to review the causes of the crisis in Flint, ensure effective use of resources to help residents and use what we learn to prevent a similar experience in any other community.

“Senator Ananich and I have had many conversations about how the Senate can work to address the concerns of the families in Flint.  I look forward to our continued dialogue and to the work of this committee in offering solutions for the citizens and families of Flint and families across Michigan.”

“What happened in Flint is a tragedy, and the people who are affected deserve answers,” said Speaker Cotter, R-Mt. Pleasant.  “People were hurt by widespread government failures, and changes need to be made as soon as possible.  I am committed to doing everything I can to provide answers and prevent future disasters.

“This new committee will allow us to work together to review the investigative findings from this crisis and build solutions that help this community move forward.  The Auditor General and others are doing important work investigating what went wrong, and I look forward to taking their work and doing what we can to make sure nothing like this ever happens again.”

The new committee will include the following members:

The Joint Committee on the Flint Water Public Health Emergency:

  • Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan – Vice Chair
  • Rep. Ed Canfield, R-Sebewaing
  • Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor
  • Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland – Chair
  • Sen. Joe Hune, R-Hamburg
  • Sen. Jim Ananich, D-Flint – Vice Chair