Congressman Dan Kildee Introduces Comprehensive Bill to Address Flint Water Crisis, Help Flint Families and Children

February 4, 2016

WASHINGTON – Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05) today announced that he has introduced comprehensive legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives focusing on immediate and long-term investments for Flint. Its introduction comes after weeks of conversations with city leaders and community stakeholders about what resources are needed to help families and the city recover from this man-made crisis.

Congressman Kildee’s legislation is comparable to legislation introduced in the Senate by Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters to help address the crisis. Congressman Kildee’s supplemental appropriations bill, which requires state-matching funds, would address four key areas:

  • Infrastructure Repairs: including making much-needed investments to replace lead-service lines;
  • Wrap-Around Services for Families and Children Exposed to Lead: including expanded access to health, early childhood education, afterschool, college accessibility, juvenile deterrence and literacy programs. Congressman Kildee’s legislation would also make critical investments in Flint schools, including establishing school-based health centers and infrastructure repairs to school buildings;
  • Economic Development: including economic development assistance programs for the city of Flint and expanded youth employment opportunities;
  • Health Monitoring: including establishing a Center of Excellence on Lead Exposure in Flint to monitor long-term health effects and provide research on best ways to mitigate lead exposure.

“Accountability is important, and we will hold those who created the Flint water crisis accountable. There are many forms of justice, and one of them is making this right for the people of Flint,” Congressman Kildee said. “Resources are needed right now for Flint and the families, particularly children, who are the victims of this terrible tragedy. My legislation represents a comprehensive set of solutions that invests in educational, nutritional and developmental support to help overcome lead exposure. It also makes the investments needed to replace lead pipes and help the city of Flint rebuild itself from the reputational damage done by this crisis.”

Since the decision to switch the city of Flint’s water source was made by a state-appointed emergency financial manager, Congressman Kildee’s legislation would require state-matching funds equal to the total of the federal bill.

“Decisions by state officials led to the Flint water crisis and the state of Michigan has the main responsibility to step up in a big way to help Flint families and children,” Congressman Kildee continued. “My legislation represents the federal government acting quickly to help Flint families and children, but it also requires matching funds from the state, which created this man-made crisis.”

The full text of Congressman Kildee’s legislation can be viewed here. Details on Congressman Kildee’s legislation are below:

Infrastructure Repairs – $385 million ($770 million total with state match):

Replacing Lead Service Lines

  • Direct grants would be awarded to the city of Flint for any activities deemed necessary by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to ensure that the city of Flint’s drinking water does not contain high lead levels. This includes repair and/or replacement of public and private water service lines, inspection of public and/or private water service lines, and corrosion control programs to optimization public and/or private water service lines.

Loan Forgiveness

  • Eliminates the current cap of 20 percent of state Drinking Water State Revolving Funds (DWSRF) that can be used on loan forgiveness
  • Allows the state of Michigan to forgive existing DWSRF loans made to the city of Flint

Wrap-Around Services for Flint Families and Children Exposed to Lead – $235 million ($470 million total with state match)

 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – $135 million ($270 million total with state match):

  • $125 million for Head Start and Early Start for Flint children exposed to lead
  • $5 million for school based health centers in all Flint schools
  • $5 million for mental health services for Flint families and children dealing with lead exposure

 

U.S. Department of Education – $90 million ($180 million total with state match):

  • $25 million for reduced class sizes, hire additional school personnel, and fund improvements to Flint school buildings;
  • $25 million for city-wide after-school programs for Flint children exposed to lead
  • $25 million for expanded PELL Grants to support additional college access for Flint youth
  • $5 million for special education services
  • $5 million for career and technical education
  • $5 million to create a ‘Promise Neighborhood’ program in Flint

 

U.S. Department of Agriculture

  • Allowing the Agriculture Secretary to expand Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program to areas where a federal state of emergency has been declared

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – $5 million ($10 million total with state match):

  • $5 million for lead prevention programs

U.S. Department of Justice – $5 million ($10 million total with state match):

  • $5 million for juvenile delinquency prevention programs

Economic Development – $45 million ($90 million total with state match):

U.S. Department of Labor – $20 million ($40 million total with state match):

  • $10 million for expanded youth employment opportunities for Flint youth
  • $10 million for workforce training, literacy and apprenticeship grants

U.S. Department of Commerce — $25 million ($50 million total with state match):

  • $12.5 million for economic development assistance programs for the city of Flint
  • $12.5 million for minority business development programs

Health Monitoring – $100 million ($200 million total with state match):

Center of Excellence on Lead Exposure

  • Authorizes the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to establish a Center of Excellence on Lead Exposure in Flint, and appropriates funding over 10 years for the center’s operation
    • Create a health registry to monitor and track Flint families and children exposed to lead
    • Establish an advisory committee to provide scientific testing and technical support
    • Research behavioral and health impacts, including mitigation efforts from lead exposure
    • Require twice-annual reporting to Flint community on research conducted

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