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Wed January 26, 2011
Same-sex health insurance issue expected to be discussed today
Update 11:43 a.m.:
The state Civil Service Commission has approved agreements to allow state employees to put their live-in partners on their insurance plans, Rick Pluta reports.
The commission's action ratifies agreements that were worked out between Governor Jennifer Granholm's administration with two state employee unions and state workers who are not part of a union. The commission acted over the objections of Governor Rick Snyder's administration.
It’s expected that The Michigan Civil Service Commission will take up a measure today that would extend health insurance benefits to same-sex partners of state employees, The Detroit News reports. As the News explains:
An attempt to push through the change in the waning days of the Granholm administration failed when the commission tabled the issue in December. Now, the new administration of Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to tell the commission today the state can't afford the change — expected to cost close to $6 million a year…
The four-member commission is split on the issue, as are unions for state employees who are bracing for anticipated fights on wage and benefit issues viewed as higher priorities. Employee benefits for same-sex partners were negotiated in 2004, shortly before Michigan voters passed a ballot initiative that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.