LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Rick Snyder launched his second term touting Detroit’s recent emergence from bankruptcy and a new way of structuring state government so Michigan’s downtrodden residents could join a “river of opportunity.”
A year later, a real river — the Flint River — and the fallout from a water crisis in another impoverished city have marred the Republican’s image as a practical problem-solver.
Snyder is preparing to deliver his sixth State of the State address Tuesday, where he will be met by a large protest that is likely to echo the withering criticism over Flint’s water disaster coming from inside and outside of Michigan.
Gov. Snyder is likely to devote much of his annual State of the State speech to the drinking water emergency.
Michigan is already providing lead testing, filters, bottled water and other essentials in the city of 99,000. Some say customers shouldn’t have to pay their water bills because the water is unsafe without filtering, but it’s unclear if lawmakers will cover the expense.
Snyder is also expected to again press lawmakers to address mounting financial problems in Detroit’s school district.