In the face of mounting criticism and demands for his resignation, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder pledged Tuesday to release his 2014 and 2015 emails related to Flint, Michigan’s ongoing water crisis, the Detroit Free Press reported. The emails are expected to be published on the governor’s website sometime Wednesday morning, and will represent all emails sent out or received by the governor in regards to Flint’s water in 2014 and 2015, with only certain personal information possibly redacted.
During his State of the State address Tuesday, Snyder accepted major responsibility for Flint’s contaminated water crisis, and laid out short-term plans to address it. He said he had requested $28 million short-term funding in order to replace fixtures at day cares, hospitals and schools, for treatment of affected children and a study using outside experts to evaluate the state of pipes and connectors in Flint, NBC News reported. Snyder also promised to appeal President Barack Obama’s recent decision to not declare Flint’s water crisis as a major disaster, hoping to unlock greater amounts of federal funding.
"Your families face a crisis — a crisis you did not create and could not have prevented," Snyder said in his State of the State address Tuesday, NBC News reported. "To you, the people of Flint, I say tonight as I have before: I am sorry and I will fix it," Snyder said. "Government failed you."
Snyder declared a state of emergency for Genesee County earlier this month after it was determined that following Flint's money-saving switch of water supply in 2014, the city's tap water had become contaminated with an excess amount of lead, the Associated Press reported. The National Guard has been deployed to the Michigan city to help deliver clean water to residents, and the president signed a disaster declaration for Michigan on Saturday, releasing $5 million in federal funding.
The state has been criticized for largely ignoring complaints about the water until late last year, and presidential candidates from both sides have slammed the way officials have handled the situation. While Vermont Sen. and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called for Snyder’s resignation, the governor gave no indication Tuesday that he will resign with a little less than three years left in his term.