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Task force: EMs put finances ahead over public health and safety

Flint water pipes
FlintWaterStudy.org | Min Tang, Kelsey Pieper

The leaders of a task force that looked into the causes behind the Flint water disaster told a panel of lawmakers they should make changes to Michigan’s emergency manager law.

Former state Senate Majority Leader Ken Sikkema co-chaired the task force.

He says the law focuses too much on fixing a local government’s finances without looking out for public health and safety.

“The emergency manager structure does a tremendous job on providing support and help on the financial piece, and it’s sort of loosy-goosy on everything else.”

One task force member says the state should create a cabinet-level public health ombudsman.

They also said the Flint lead contamination crisis was a product of a government “culture problem” that starts at the very top.

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