COVID-19 Justice

Lawmakers cut off water shutoffs during pandemic

State lawmakers agreed to halt water shutoffs until the end of March.

Sanitary water is an integral part of life. That’s why state lawmakers agreed to ban water shutoffs until the end of March.

In its last weeks in session before the holidays, the state’s House and Senate both passed Senate Bill 241. That bars utilities from shutting off water to residents who have been unable to pay.

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The bill also requires public utilities to track down houses where water service has already been shut off and try to restore service.

Sanitary water service is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic because of the need to wash hands frequently to prevent the spread of the virus.

The bill effectively reinstates an executive order issued by Governor Gretchen Whitmer early on in the pandemic. That order was tossed out when the State Supreme Court ruled the governor’s executive order powers unconstitutional.

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