“It’s not really a political issue, and it shouldn’t be…this is about humans,” says state Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich [D-Flint].
It looks like Gov. Rick Snyder will not testify in front of a state legislative committee looking into the Flint water crisis. Neither will other key decision makers such as Flint’s former emergency managers or the former head of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Critics say the decision to end hearings now is about politics — an attempt to shield the governor and others from further public scrutiny. Others are withholding judgement until the committee gives its final recommendations.
Host Stephen Henderson speaks with Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich [D-Flint] and State Rep. Ed McBroom [R-Vulcan], who are both members of the special joint committee on Flint.
“I’m a citizen of Flint,” says Ananich. ”And this isn’t a partisan issue…this was something that should’ve never happened. This was a man-made disaster. It’s not really a political issue, and it shouldn’t be…this is about humans, this is a public health crisis.” Moving forward in Flint is “a process that is moving…it’s just not going at the speed I’d like it to.”
McBroom says it would be difficult, if not impossible, to get Gov. Snyder and others to testify now that criminal investigations are underway. He says the committee could have had a chance to hear from key players if it would have started its work earlier.
“Empowering the people is really critical here,” says McBroom. “There should have been ways for their voices to be heard, but those avenues were closed…I see citizens get blocked out because of bureaucracy.” Coming up with a legislative solution to the water crisis is going to take some time,” McBroom says. ”It’s probably going to take the remainder of the year unfortunately.”
Click the audio link above to hear the entire conversation.