A coalition made up of environmental, rights, and religious groups will urge the incoming Biden Administration to issue an executive order enacting a nationwide moratorium on water and other utility shutoffs, says The Guardian. Citing the need to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and financial hardships due to the pandemic’s economic impact, supporters will present their proposal on Inauguration Day.
According to the report, a Duke University study found that ending water shutoffs helps reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus, as frequent handwashing is crucial to minimize the virus’ spread.
If the moratorium is enacted, it would restrict utilities from shutting off water, electricity and gas until 12 months after the pandemic ends, and some supporters want to include debt relief.
Eight states including California, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia currently have moratoriums in place, but they include no mechanisms to relieve the debt once the moratoriums are lifted.