LANSING, Mich. — Last year at this time, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder was boasting about the state’s financial accomplishments, toying with a presidential run, and delivering a State of the State address that said his administration would ensure all Michigan residents could be pulled along by Michigan’s “river of opportunity.”

But as Snyder prepares to deliver his sixth State of the State address Tuesday, his political capital has plummeted, the state is grappling with what could be a billion-dollar mistake with incalculable consequences for human lives, and his river analogy is particularly unfortunate in light of a state-appointed emergency manager’s 2014 decision to save money by temporarily drawing Flint’s drinking water from the polluted and corrosive Flint River.

That move has led to a public health crisis, allegations of a state government cover-up, and Saturday’s declaration of a federal emergency in Flint by President Obama.

Amid calls for his resignation and protests planned in front of the Capitol on Tuesday, Snyder will deliver one of the most closely watched State of the State addresses in Michigan history.

Dennis Muchmore, Snyder’s outgoing chief of staff, said Friday he expects the Republican governor will confront the lead contamination of Flint’s drinking water early and prominently in his address, setting out a comprehensive plan for addressing not only the health-related issues in Flint, but the infrastructure problems there and in other cities around the state.

Snyder has publicly apologized for the state’s role in the catastrophe. But given the fact complaints about the taste, smell and appearance of Flint’s drinking water began shortly after the switch in April 2014 and continued for 18 months, many citizens aren’t buying Snyder’s claim that he wasn’t aware of the seriousness of the health issue until about Oct. 1 of this year.

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