So not only did the state indict 5 people associated with the Flint water crisis with mansalughter (http://ktla.com/2017/06/14/several-michigan-officials-charged-with-involuntary-manslaughter-in-connection-with-flint-water-crisis/), but one of them, Nick Lyon, is the current director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Another high-ranking state health department official, Dr. Eden Wells, was charged Wednesday with obstruction of justice and lying to an officer.

Now the same agency that took all the flack for permitting the crisis to occur, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, is suing the City of flint for failing to get contracts in place for long-term water from Detroit.   (http://www.governing.com/topics/transportation-infrastructure/tns-flint-michigan-water-lawsuit.html?utm_term=Why%20Flint%20Is%20Being%20Sued%20by%20the%20Agency%20Partially%20Responsible%20for%20the%20Water%20Crisis&utm_campaign=With%20FCC%20Blocked%2C%20Will%20States%20Make%20Prison%20Calls%20Affordable&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email).

That should be an interesting court case.  One agency under a cloud and perceived to be untrustworthy, suing the perceived to be untrustworthy City it oversaw.  The legal arguments should be very interesting.  And it proves the litigation and bad healines from Flint are far from over.


Enjoy some fireworks, good cheer and good friends, but remember how we got here.  I was recently in Philadelphia for a conference and had the opportunity to go to Independence Hall, the Museum of the American Revolution and other sites of relevance from our founding fathers.  They had pretty serious troubles in those days and they had the audacity to think they could break from the norms of the time to govern themselves. Their own neighbors often did not agree with them, and did not think that this thinking was going to end in anything useful.  they were fighting the greatest empire known to man.  The revolution was by no means unanimous our forefathers.  Nor were the ideas in the Constitution fully developed.  Southern states only would sign of in slavery was permitted and slaves counted at 3/5 of a person.  How much did that thinking hold them back?  Clearly many did not agree with this and many other “status quo” ideas.  Go, read, understand, what they were trying to do. Crazy for the time.


http://www.governing.com/topics/finance/gov-illinois-budget-rauner.html

Upcoming is a discussion I am preparing on ongoing fiscal issues.  Alaska is a perfect example of complete failure to be responsible..

http://www.governing.com/week-in-finance/gov-finance-roundup-alaska-medicaid-puerto-rico.html?utm_term=Keep%20Reading%20%3E%3E&utm_campaign=Alaska%20Avoids%20Its%20Problems%2C%20More%20Health-Care%20Pain%20and%20Municipal%20Defaults%20Are%20Up&utm_content=email&utm_source=Act-On+Software&utm_medium=email#continued

And then there is Puerto Rico. (see end of the article.  Better be careful where you invest your “safe” dollars.

 

 


The following link is a study done by Elizabeth Mack at Michigan State University.  One of teh issues that arises is that in many places, especially rural places, affordability of water services may be a future challenge.  It is an issue i spent some time talking about in my forthcoming book.  I think this article expands on that idea.  The threshold is 4.5% of monthly income for water and sewer services.  If you have a good income, this is not a problem, and you can afford to pay for the many upgrades needed.  If you live in an area that is far more challenged with joblessness and low incomes (the South, rural areas, then the need to pay for upgrades and renewal will be more difficult.  The map shows this.  Keep in mind that many of these same places had FHA, WPA (1930s) and others sources of free or near free money pay for their infrastructure initially, and the trend has not been to increase rates for renewal.  IT creates a whole new crisis to go with the infrastructure condition crisis in some of these places

http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0169488&type=printable

 

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