A temporary statewide ban on water shutoffs at occupied homes arising from unpaid bills is set to automatically expire on the last day of March.
The sunset provision is contained in the shutoff ban legislation that was passed by overwhelming majorities in both chambers of the state Legislature this past December.
State Senator Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit), sponsor of the legislation, said she has been advocating with legislative leaders to extend the expiration date, but it is not clear yet whether that will happen.
"I think it's really important that people have access to water always, but especially during a pandemic," said Chang. "And we know the case rates are there and of course the variants."
Chang said she hopes the distribution of the latest round of federal COVID relief dollars will get finalized soon.
"My hope is that the federal money, once it gets allocated to the states and once we start getting that out, will significantly help residents and also the water providers," Chang said.
Chang said thousands of Michigan households are behind in their water bills, and finding long term solutions to water affordability issues is essential.