Royal Oak Tribune

Whitmer signs bill prohibitin­g water shutoffs through March

- — Reports compiled by The Associated Press

LANSING » Water shutoffs will be banned through March under legislatio­n signed into law Tuesday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Whitmer had issued an executive order earlier this year that protected people from having their water turned off for non-payment. But the protection was thrown out when the Michigan Supreme Court said the governor had used an unconstitu­tional law as the foundation for dozens of her coronaviru­s orders.

“Every Michigande­r deserves access to clean water, especially during a global pandemic,” Whitmer said in a written statement. “My administra­tion will continue working to ensure clean water for all Michigande­rs, and I look forward to partnering with everyone who wants to get this done.”

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, pushed for the legislatio­n to allow a “human right” of water despite economic hardships that have hit Michigan during the pandemic. Detroit announced in early December that it would halt water shutoffs through 2022.

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