LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Wednesday extending Michigan residents from having their water shut off.

The extension protects Michigan residents through the end of 2020.

Under the program, 2,477 Michiganders have had their water restored during the COVID-19 pandemic, including more than 1,200 families in partnership with the City of Detroit.

“As Michigan families grapple with the impacts of COVID-19 on public health and our economy, our administration is taking proactive steps to ensure that no one has to worry about having access to clean drinking water or losing power during this unprecedented crisis. Extending these protections is the right thing to do, and I remain committed to working with the legislature and our partners in the federal government to develop long-term policy solutions to make water affordable for every family in Michigan,” said Whitmer.

Last week, Whitmer signed the bipartisan supplemental bill, SB 690, into law. The new law includes $25 million for the Department of Health and Human Services to reimburse water utility providers for providing bill forgiveness for past due utility bills and fees incurred by residential water customers during the COVID-19 state of emergency.

The legislation also provides a 25% rebate on total water bills for eligible customers while funding lasts.

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