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Rick Snyder will ask Michigan lawmakers for $195 million in additional aid for Flint

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Michigan Governor Rick Snyder on Wednesday will ask the state legislature for another $195 million to restore safe drinking water in Flint and help residents affected by lead-contaminated water, a spokesman confirmed on Tuesday.

The new funding request is in addition to $37 million that has already been appropriated this year by the Republican-led legislature, said Snyder spokesman Dave Murray.

“That’s a significant investment in the people of Flint,” Murray said.

The city of some 100,000 people was under control of a state-appointed emergency manager in 2014 when it switched its source of water from Detroit’s municipal system to the Flint River to save money.

That move has provoked a national controversy and prompted several lawsuits by parents who say their children are showing dangerously high blood levels of lead, which can cause development problems.

Lead can be toxic and children are especially vulnerable.

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Earlier on Tuesday, Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said the city would replace all residents’ pipes and was counting on state and federal help to foot the estimated $55 million bill.

Snyder, a Republican, has apologized repeatedly for the state’s poor handling of the crisis.

The $195 million includes $30 million toward providing credits on future water bills, for water not used during the crisis, Murray said.

The appropriation also would include $63 million for improving the physical, social and educational well-being of Flint children and other vulnerable residents and $37 million for safe drinking water efforts, according to the Detroit Free Press, citing an unnamed source familiar with the fiscal 2017 budget.

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Murray, however, could not confirm those figures.

(Reporting by Mary Wisniewski, editing by G Crosse)

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New York’s legislature gives landlords a lesson in democracy

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The knockout punch that the New York State Legislature just landed fighting landlords over spiraling rents ought to be attracting wider attention.

Just as with healthcare access or prescription drug prices, the cost of rent increases that mostly benefit big apartment owners is a challenge to the income-gap society that are at the heart of the national political debate. Every urban center in the country is having housing problems, and rents, like mortgages, are a subject at every kitchen table.

For once, the New York Legislature, whose Democrats overcame internecine divisions this session, has abolished rules that let building owners deregulate apartments, and closed loopholes that have permitted landlords to raise rents. And the changes for better tenant protection were made permanent, eliminating the recurring drama over these issues.

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Trump’s EPA wants minimal limits on poison in drinking water

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The Trump EPA calculated recommended limits of a dangerous chemical sometimes found in drinking water that can harm babies’ brain development that were more than 9 times higher than those imposed by a few states by fudging a key number in the calculation.

The Trump recommended a limit for perchlorate, which can harm infant brain development, of 56 micrograms per liter, far above the limit of 6 that California imposed and 2 that Massachusetts set, more than a decade ago.

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MSNBC’s Mika scorches Trump over sex assault denials: ‘What type of woman would you rape?’

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MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski revealed the horrific meaning behind President Donald Trump's defense against new rape claims.

Author and columnist E. Jean Carroll has accused the president of raping her more than 20 years ago after a chance meeting at a Manhattan department store, but Trump insists he couldn't have assaulted her because she's not his "type."

"We're talking about sexual assault, talking about actual rape and the president said that she's not his type," the "Morning Joe" co-host said. "So I guess the follow-up question is, since you have a type when it comes to rape, what's your type, Donald Trump, and is it any of the other women who claimed that you raped them?"

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