State OKs $4M more to defend workers in Flint water cases

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The state of Michigan has authorized spending $4 million more to defend its environmental agency and current and former regulators against criminal charges and lawsuits related to Flint’s water crisis.

The State Administrative Board approved the additional funds Tuesday as part of a plan to also extend contracts by one year for outside lawyers working on the cases. The amount allotted for the Department of Environmental Quality for the next fiscal year is now $8.5 million instead of $4.5 million.

The state has spent millions of dollars on Flint-related legal bills and Attorney General Bill Schuette’s criminal investigation of lead contamination and a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak.

Schuette has filed charges against 15 current and former state and local officials. Numerous Flint residents have sued the state and others.

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