Legislation introduced for $50 million to help Flint children

State Sen. Gary Peters is working to enroll every eligible child in Flint with Head Start.

Michigan Senator Gary Peters introducing new legislation aimed to help Flint children.

Mikel Taylor is a rambunctious 2-year-old: curious, busy, just like he should be. But so many parents in Flint are worried their young children could face problems later because of lead in the water.

"I just pray that they'll be able to do something about our water," said his mother Precious Brown.

Brown attended a rally at a Flint church including celebrities on hand like Russell Simmons, lending support during this crisis.

"Your struggle is my struggle," Simmons said. "I'm in it for the long run."

Other well-known people there like Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a hero in the minds of many for speaking out when her research showed elevated lead levels in Flint's children - despite claims from the state that she was wrong.

"I was just doing my job," she said.

Her job as a pediatrician taking her from that rally back to Hurley Medical Center for a meeting with
Sen. Peters. Attisha is working on a comprehensive program to ensure long-term care for Flint's children impacted by lead in the water.

Peters talked about infrastructure, healthcare, nutrition, education, announcing new early childhood legislation for Flint's kids.

"It will be 50 million dollars per year over a five-year period," Peters said.

Currently 6,000 children are eligible for Head Start in Flint - but only 1,000 are enrolled.

Peters is seeking additional resources to enroll every child. It is just one of the many efforts Attisha says needs to happen to avoid potential life-long problems for children who've been exposed to lead..

"This is something we are going to deal with for decades and generations to come if we do not do anything," Attisha said. "And we are at a critical opportunity to do something for these kids so that we don't see these long-term consequences."

Peters said that Flint residents deserve new water pipes but it is unclear when there could be new infrastructure.  He says it is the state's responsibility but he is working in Washington DC to get the money to help.

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