Agenda Item 7B
April 12,2016
Introduction
MEMORANDUM
April 8,2016
TO:
County Council
FROM:
Robert H. Drununer, Senior Legislative
Attorney~9-
SUBJECT:
Introduction:
Bill 13-16, Personnel
- Amendments
Benefits for Domestic Partner of Employee
Bill 13-16, Personnel - Benefits for Domestic Partner of Employee - Amendments,
sponsored by Lead Sponsor Council President at the request ofthe County Executive, is scheduled
to be introduced on April 12, 2016. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for May 3, 2016 at
1:30 p.m.
Background
The recently negotiated collective bargaining agreement between the County and the
Municipal and County Government Employees Organization, Local 1994 (MCGEO) provides that
all health and insurance benefits be extended to opposite-sex domestic partners of employees
covered under the agreement. The Fraternal Order ofPolice Lodge #35 (FOP) and the International
Association of Firefighters, Local 1664 (IAFF) have similar provisions in their contracts. This
statutory change in eligibility for health and insurance benefits would be effective January 1,2017,
so as to coincide with the normal health plan enrollment period that is done in the fall and takes
effect January 1 of each year. Bill 13-16 would extend these benefits to all County employees
who are eligible for health and insurance benefits.
Bill 28-99, Personnel- Benefits for Employee's Domestic Partner, enacted on November
30, 1999 and signed into law on December 3, 1999, extended health and insurance benefits to a
same-sex domestic partner of an employee. According to the legislative history, sponsors and
supporters of Bill 28-99 argued that the law was needed to correct an inequity in benefits provided
to gay and lesbian County employees, compared to other employees. They argued that it is unfair
to provide benefits for an employee's spouse but not for the partner ofan employee in a
long~term,
committed, same-sex relationship. This benefits inequity conflicted with the County's
longstanding law and policies against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
1
In short, Bill
28-99 was a civil rights law that was enacted outside ofthe collective bargaining process.
I
The County frrst prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in 1984.
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Bill 25-0 1, Personnel- Retirement Amendments, extended opposite sex domestic partner
benefits to members of the police bargaining unit on November 1, 2001. Finally, Bill 30-lO,
Personnel- Equal Benefits Fire and Rescue Employees, extended opposite sex domestic partner
benefits to members of the fire and rescue bargaining unit. Each of these laws were enacted at a
time when same-sex marriage was prohibited in Maryland. Maryland began to recognize same­
sex marriage on January 1,2013.
The legalization of same-sex marriage in Maryland created a new inequity for employers
who provided domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples only. Governor O'Malley resolved
this inequity by eliminating all domestic partner benefits for State employees soon after the State
legalized same-sex marriages. Although Maryland began recognizing same-sex marriages in
2013, many States did not. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the right to marry is a
fundamental right that must be provided to same-sex couples in
Obergefell
v.
Hodges,
135 S.Ct.
2584 (2015). Speaking for the Court, Justice Kennedy said:
These considerations lead to the conclusion that the right to marry is a fundamental
right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal
Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment couples of the same-sex may not
be deprived of that right and that liberty. The Court now holds that same-sex
couples may exercise the fundamental right to marry. 135 S.Ct. at 2604-2605.
The
Obergefell
case again changed the legal framework underlying the County's domestic
partner benefits law. Except for members of the police and fITe bargaining units, a County
employee with a same-sex domestic partner can obtain health and insurance benefits for a partner
without marriage and an employee with a domestic partner of the opposite sex must marry his or
her domestic partner to obtain these benefits. The original purpose of the domestic partner benefits
law no longer applies because same-sex couples are guaranteed the right to marry in all States.
Many States have reacted to this change in law by eliminating all domestic partner benefits.
See the
Stateline
article reviewing these reactions at ©lO-15. Bill 13-16 would resolve this
inequity by expanding these benefits to everyone.
Fiscal Impact
Based upon the County's experience with police and fire employees, OMB estimated that
the extension of these benefits to 'all employees would cost $344,276 in FY17
2
and $688,552 in
FY18 and beyond. See the Fiscal and Economic Impact Statement at ©6. Applying OMB's
estimated 9% annual increase in health insurance costs resulted in an estimated cost of$4.8 million
over the next 6 years.
This packet contains:
Bill 13-16
Legislative Request Report
Memo from County Executive
2
Circle #
1
4
5
The FY17 cost is half the annual cost because the Bill would take effect on January 1,2017.
2
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Fiscal and Economic Impact statement
Stateline, September 11, 2015
F:\LAW\BILLS\I 613 Personnel-Benefits For Domestic Partners\Intro Memo.Docx
6
10
3
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Bill No.
-:---l-1;: :.3--=1:: .,6_ _
-=---=---:;:--:;--_
Concerning: Personnel- Benefits for
Domestic Partner of Employee ­
Amendments
Revised: April
6, 2016
Draft No.
1
Introduced:
April
12, 2016
Expires:
October
12, 2017
Enacted: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Executive: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Effective: _ _:--_ _ _ _ _ __
Sunset Date:
...!N~o!!.:n~e-
___- - - -
ChI
Laws of Mont. Co. _ __
COUNTY COUNCIL
FOR MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MARYLAND
Lead Sponsor: Council President at the request of the County Executive
AN
ACT to:
(I)
(2)
provide benefits to an opposite sex domestic partner of certain employees; and
generally amend the law regarding benefits for domestic partners.
By amending
Montgomery County Code
Chapter 33, Personnel and Human Resources
Sections 33-22
..
.. ..
Boldface
Underlining
[Single boldface brackets]
Double underlining
[[Double boldface brackets]]
Heading or defined term.
Added to existing law by original bill.
Deletedfrom existing law by original bill.
Added by amendment.
Deletedfrom existing law or the bill by amendment.
Existing law unaffected by bill.
The County Council for Montgomery County, Maryland approves thefollowing Act:
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Bill No. 13-16
Sec. 1.
Section 33-22 is amended as follows:
2
3
4
5
6
7
33-22. Benefits for Domestic Partner of Employee.
(a)
Findings and purpose.
The County has a longstanding policy, in law and
practice, against employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The County believes it is unfair to treat employees differently based
solely on whether the employee's partner is legally recognized as a
spouse.
The County finds that many private and public employees provide or plan
to provide benefits for the domestic partners of their employees.
Providing domestic partner benefits will significantly enhance the
County's ability to recruit and retain highly qualified employees and will
promote employee loyalty and workplace diversity,
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
(b)
General rule.
Any benefit the County provides for the spouse (including
"widow" or other equivalent term) of a County employee or the spouse's
dependents must be provided, in the same manner and to the same extent,
for the domestic partner of a County employee and the partner's
dependents, respectively. Benefits provided to an employee's domestic
partner or partner's dependent must include benefits equivalent to those
available for an employee's spouse or spouse's dependent under the
Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA),
the federal Family and Medical Leave Act, and other federal laws that
apply to County employment benefits.
18
19
20
21
22
23
(c)
Requirements for domestic partnership.
To establish a domestic
partnership, the employee and the employee's partner must either:
(1)
24
25
satisfy all of the following requirements:
@
l.Docx
F:\LAW\BILLS\1613 Personnel-Benefits For Domestic Partners\BiII
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Bill No. 13-16
26
(A)
[be the same sex, unless the employee is a member of the
27
28
police bargaining unit or the fire and rescue services bargaining
unit;
(B)]
share a close personal relationship and be responsible for
29
30
31
32
33
34
each other's welfare;
[(C)]
!ID
months;
[(D)]
(Q
[(E)]
ill)
be at least 18 years old;
have voluntarily consented to the relationship,
have shared the same legal residence for at least 12
35
36
without fraud or duress;
[(F)]
@
not be married to, or in a domestic partnership with,
37
38
39
any other person;
[(G)]
(B
not be related by blood or affinity in a way that would
disqualify them from marriage under State law [if the employee
and partner were (or, for members of the police bargaining unit
or the fire and rescue services bargaining unit, are) opposite
sexes];
[(H)]
(Q)
[(I)]
be legally competent to contract; and
share sufficient financial and legal obligations to
40
41
42
43
44
.an
45
46
47
48
satisfy subsection (dX2); or
*
Sec. 2. Effective Date.
*
*
This Act takes effect on January 1,2017.
49
(j)
l.Docx
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LEGISLATIVE REQUEST REPORT
Bill 13-16
Bill 13-16, Personnel Benefits/or Domestic Partnero/Employee Amendments
DESCRIPTION:
PROBLEM:
The legislation would extend health and insurance benefits to an
opposite sex domestic partner of an employee.
The recently negotiated collective bargaining agreement between
the County and the Municipal and County Government Employees
Organization, Local 1994 (MCGEO) provides that all health and
insurance benefits be extended to opposite-sex domestic partners
of employees covered under the agreement. The Fraternal Order of
Police Lodge #35 (FOP) and the International Association of
Firefighters, Local 1664 (lAFF) have similar provisions in their
contracts. This statutory change in eligibility for health and
insurance benefits would be effective January 1, 2017, so as to
coincide with the normal health plan enrollment period that is done
in
the fall and takes effect January 1 of each year. The Bill would
extend these benefits to all County employees who are eligible for
health and insurance benefits.
GOALS AND
OBJECTIVES:
This amendment to Sec. 33-22(c) of the County Code both
implements the provision of the MCGEO contract and passes
through this benefit to unrepresented employees.
COORDINATION:
Office of Human Resources and Finance
FISCAL IMPACT:
Office of Management and Budget
ECONOMIC
IMPACT:
EVALUATION:
EXPERIENCE
ELSEWHERE:
SOURCE OF
INFORMATION:
Office of Management and Budget
N/A
N/A
Stuart
Weisberg, Office of Human Resources (x.75154)
APPLICATION
WITHIN
MUNICIPALITIES:
N/A
PENALTIES:
N/A
F:\LAW\BILlS\1613
Personnel-Benefits For Domestic Partners\Legislative Request Report -Domestic Partners. Doc
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OFFICE OF THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE
Isiah Leggett
County Executive
ItOCKVILLE, MAAYLAN\) 20&50
MEMORANDUM
April 1, 2016
TO:
Nancy Floreen., President
Montgomery County Council
/J/?
FROM:
lsiah
Leggetl;
County
ExecutiV~­
SUBJECT: Memorandum of Agreement between the County and MCGEO
1have attached for
the
Council's review the agreement resulting from the recent
negotiations between the Montgomery County Government and the Municipal
&
County
Government Employees OrganizationlUnited Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1994
(MCGEO). The agreement is the
product ora settlement reached
by
the
parties during
mediation. The agreement reflects
the
changes that will
be
made to
the
existing Collective
Bargaining Agreement
to
be
effective July 1,2016 through June 30,2017.
I have also attached a summary ofthe agreed upon items as well as a copy ofthe
fiscal impact statement referenced in the Workforce/Compensation chapter of
my
budget to
assist in Council's review of the document. The items will take effect for the first time in
FY2017 and have a fiscal impact
in
FY2017.
IL: geb
Attachments
cc:
Shawn Stokes, Director, Office of Hwnan Resources
Jennifer Hughes, Director, Office ofManagement and Budget
Marc Hansen., County Attorney, Office of the County Attorney
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ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
MEMORANDUM
April S, 2016
TO:
Timothy L. Firestine, Chief
Administrative Officer
Joseph F. Beach,
D1te(,,1or~
Department ofFlDanW-
- Amendments
\.
~
FROM:
SUBJECT:
lenniferA.
Hugh~
Director, Office
ofM~gement
and
BUd~
County Executive
Bill XX-16, Personnel- Benefits for Domestic Partners ofEmployees
Please find attached the fiscal and economic
impact
statement
for the above:-referenced
legislation.
JAIJ:mc
cc: Bonnie Kirkland,
Assistant
Chief Administrative Officer
Lisa Aust:in, Offices of the County Executive
Joy Nunni, Special
Assistant
to
the
County
Executive
Patrick
Lacefreld
1
Director, Public
Information Office
Joseph F.
Beach,
Director~
Department ofFmance
Iennifer A. Hughes, Director, Office ofManagement and Budget
Shawn Stokes, Director, Office ofHuman Resources
David Platt, Department of Finance
Stuart Weisber& Office
of
Human Resources
Lori O'Brien, Office of Human Resources
Alex
Espinosa, Office of
Management
and Budget
Naeem Mia, Office of Management and Budget
Corey
Orlosky~
Office
ofManagement and Budget
Felicia Zhang, Office
of
Management
and
Budget
>
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·........................
.
........
.........._._..
-
.
...........................
_
""'
.....................
...
Fiscal Impact
Statement
... Bill
XX~16
':
Pe"-pnoel-
D~pefits
Jor..
Dom~tkfartners.
of
Emp19ye~ ~ AJ:Il:"n~.ents
1.
Bill Summary
The proposed bill extends group insurance benefits to Opposite sex domestic partners of
employees of the Mtmicipal
and
County GovemmentEmployees Organization, Local
1994 (MeGEO)
purswmt to the recently negotiated collective bargaining agreement
effective
July
1,2016 through June 30, 2017., The' bill also extends this coverage
to
unrepresented employees.
2. An estimate of changes
in
County revenues and expenditures regardless of whether
the revenues or. expenditures are assumed
in
the recOlJlmended or approved budget.
Includes
souree of
information,
aS8umptioDS, and methodologies used.
The bill is
estimated
to
have an impact on County Health Insurunce
Fund
costs
of
$344,276 in FY17. and is included in the FY17 recommended budget The cost estimate
is based on a January I, 2017 Unplementation date and plan
exp~ence
of coverage for
police and fire rescue bargaining unit members. Based
Oil
that
experience, the cost
estimate asswnes 2.6% of empJoyees would beneijt from this change at an average
incremental cost of
$1,913.'
'!
3.
Revenue and expenditure estimates covering
at least the
next
6
fiscal
years.
Based on the assumptions expl8Jned above, this bill is estimated
to
have an impact of
$344,276
in
FYI7, and $688,552 annually in the following years. The estimated annual
cost is approximately
0.3
'percent of the
$245.9
million
FYI 7
recommended budget for
the Health Insurance Fund. Health insurance
claims
costs are estimated. to increase 9%
annually. Applying the estimated 90/0 incrQaSe would result in
a.
total 6-year estimated
cost of$4.& million.
4.
An
actuarial
analysis through
the
entire amortization period for each reglllation
that
would
affect
.retiree
pension
or group insurance costs.
Group insurance claims costs are determined actuarially. The cost estimate for this
negotiated change was based on the assumptions
specified
in
#2 above.
S.
Later
actions
that may affect future revenue and expenditures
if
the
biD authorizes
future spending.
Not
applicable.
f
6. An
estimate
of
the
staff
time'
n~ded
to
implement,the bill.
f
No additional
st~
timeis
nee~ed
to'implement lliis bill.
.
7. An
explanation
of
how the addition of new staff
respOnsibilities
would
affect other
duties.
.
Not applicable.
8.' An estimate
of
costs
when an
additional
appropriation is needed.
See
tesponse to question 2, above.
,.1.t.
.'
.
y.~
~
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9. A description of any variable that couldaffed revenue and cost estimates.
The number of covered employees/dependents
and
the cost ofclaims could affect the cost
estimates.
10.
Ranges of
revenue or expenditures that are uncertain or difficult to project.
Not applicable.
11.
If
a bill is
likely
to have no fiscal impact,
Why
t~t
is the case.
Not
applicable.
12. Other fiscal impacts or comments.
Not
applicable.
13. The following contributed to and concurred
with
this
analysis (enter name and
dept.)
Stuart Weisberg, Office of Human
Resources
Lori O'Brien,
Office of
Human
Resources
Corey
Orlosky, Office of Managemel1t
and
Budget
Jellliifer
u~es,
tor
Date
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Economic Impad Statement
Bill ##-16,
Personnel- Benefits for Domestic Partners
for Employees - Amendments
Background:
This legislation would provide certain benefits
to
an opposite sex domestic partner for
certain employees. The negotiated collective bargaining agreement between the County
and
the
Municipal and County Government Employees Organization" Local 1994
(MCGEO) provides that all health and insuran.ce benefits shall
be
extended to
opposite
sex partners
of
employees covered under the agreement. Bill ##-16 amends
Section
33­
22(c) of the County
Code
that:
1) implements the provisions
of
the MCGRO contract, and
2) passes through this benefit to
unrepI'C$Cnted
employees.
1. The sources of information, assumptions, and methodologies used.
The source of
information
is the County Executive's FYI7 Recommended Budget
Operating
Budget The Office
of
Management
and
Budget (OMB) estimates the
budget impact of $344,276 in. FY17 and $688,552 annually thereafter. Based
on
the
date
of implementation and the
plan
experience for other bargaining
units,
OMS
assumes
2.6
percent
ofemployees
would benefit
at
an
average
incremental cost
of
$1,913, 'There are no other assumptions or methodologies used
in
the preparation of
the. economic impact statement
2~
A desctiption of any variable that could affect the
economic impact estimates.
The variable that could affect the
economic
impact estimates is the nwnber of
covered employees who would benefit from this amendment.
3. The BiOts positive or
negative
effed,
if
any on employment, spcIJding,savings,
investment,
incomes~
and property values
in
the County.
Based
on
the budget estimates prepared by OMB, Bill ##-16 effects on employment,
spending, savings, investment, incomes, and property values
in
the County would not
be significant.
4.
If
a Bill
is
likely to have no economic
impact,
why is that the ease?
Bill ##-16 would have no significant economic impact.
5.
The
foJlowing contributed to
or concurred with this
ana1ysis:
David :Platt
and
Rob
Hagedoom, Department
of
Finance;
Corey Orlosky OMB;
Lori
O'Brien, Office of
Hmnan Resources.
De}fartment of Finance
Page 10f1
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4/7/2016
After Same-Sex Marriage Ruling. States Reconsider Domestic Partner Benefits
THE
PEW
CHARITABLE
TRUSTS
The Pew Charitable Trusts
I
Research
&
Analysis
I
Stateline
I
After Same-Sex Marriage Ruling, States
Reconsider Domestic Partner Benefits
After Same-Sex Marriage Ruling, States
Reconsider Domestic Partner Benefits
September 11,2015
By Rebecca Beitsch
h
:/Iwww.ewtrusts.o/en/research-and-analsis/blos/stateline/2015/09/11/after-same-sex-marriaQe-rulinQ-states-reconsider-domestic-partner-bene...1/7
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4/7/2016
After Same-Sex Marriage Ruling, States Reconsider Domestic Partner Benefits
The U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage has some state and
local governments reconsidering their domestic partner benefits.
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, some
states that offer health and retirement benefits to their employees' domestic partners
are considering changing those policies, in large part to save money or avoid
discrimination lawsuits.
Before the ruling, 34 percent of state and local governments allowed unmarried same­
sex couples to receive health care benefits, while 28 percent did so for domestic
partners of the opposite sex, according to a study of public sector benefits by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Based on what happened in states that legalized gay marriage on their own, those
numbers are about to dwindle.
Maryland ended domestic partner benefits for state employees, which it offered only to
same-sex couples, just a few months after it legalized same-sex marriage in 2013.
Arizona did the same after its legalization in 2014. Alaska still offers same-sex domestic
partner benefits to the roughly 6,000 state employees it covers, but it is now reviewing
that policy. The majority ofAlaska state employees get their health insurance through
state-funded union health trusts, and the state's largest union, the Alaska State
Employees Association, ended same-sex domestic partner benefits for the more than
8,500 state and municipal employees it covers.
Connecticut and Delaware never offered domestic partner benefits to their workers, but
they did allow those in civil unions to add their partners to their health and retirement
plans. The two states scrapped those benefits once same-sex couples could marry.
htt
:lIwww.
ewtrusts.or lenlresearch-and-anal
islblo slstaleline/2015!09/11/after-same-sex-marria e-rulin states-reconsider-domestic-oartner-bene...
217
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41712016
After Same-Sex Marriage Ruling. States Reconsider Domestic Partner Benefits
Of the 13 states that prohibited same-sex marriage before the Supreme Court's June
ruling (Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri,
Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas), only Michigan
offered anything similar to domestic partner benefits, as employees could add to their
plan one adult they were not related to. Matthew Fedorchuk with the Michigan Civil
Service Commission, which oversees state benefits, said the fate ofthose bene'fits
could be hashed out in ongoing labor negotiations.
Government workers are likely to see more changes than those in the private sector.
Bruce Elliott, manager of compensation and benefits for the Society for Human
Resource Management (SHRM), cited a survey of 153 companies by Mercer, a health
care advocacy group, which found that although some companies had plans to get rid of
their domestic partner benefits, many were not planning changes. Of the 19 percent that
offered domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples, 23 percent said they would drop
the option in the next year, while another 23 percent said they would do so over the next
two or three years. The majority of companies offered domestic partner benefits to both
homosexual and heterosexual couples, and 62 percent of those said they were not
planning any changes.
Elliott said domestic partner benefits may be more vulnerable within state and local
government, where competition over employees isn't as fierce as in the private sector
and where leaders have been under pressure to keep finances in check since the
recession.
A Question of Fairness
Cathryn Oakley, senior legislative counsel for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights
advocacy group, said the group is encouraging public and private employers to keep
offering domestic partner benefits. But she said employers that offer domestic partner
•J
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41712016
After Sarna-Sax Marriage Ruling. States Reconsider Domestic Partner Benefits
benefits exclusively to same-sex couples should extend them to heterosexual couples
to avoid discrimination lawsuits.
That risk is part of the reason the capital city ofAnnapolis, Maryland, decided to end its
domestic partner benefit program.
"We had added it because the law didn't treat people equally," Paul Rensted, former
human resources manager for the city. said of the program, created in 2010. Now all city
employees must be married to add an adult to their benefits package, and Rensted said
couples were given six months' notice, with four employees ultimately marrying.
Many in the gay rights community say keeping domestic partner benefits would
continue to benefit some in the gay community as well as other non-traditional families.
But straight couples would continue to be the biggest user of the benefits, they say.
"Millennials are waiting longer to get married, butthat doesn't mean they're not living
together-they're not all living with mom and dad," said SHRM's Elliott.
Nancy Polikoff, a family law professor at American University Washington College of
Law, said she likes "plus one" policies that allow employees to take care of their
families, whether it be a spouse, a partner or an aging relative.
"The purpose of providing benefits is to help employees fund the financial and
emotional obligations in their homes, and marriage is not always a part of that," she
said.
She pOinted to Salt Lake City's plan as a model. City employees can add any adult to
their plan as long as they live together.
Jodi Langford, who oversees the benefits program for the city, said it has been used to
cover parents, siblings and unmarried children older than 26 who would otherwise age
out of their parents' health insurance plans. Of the 60 people on the plan before same­
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4n12016
After Same-Sex Marriage Ruling, States Reconsider Domestic Partner Benefits
sex marriage was made legal, only about 10 have switched to spousal benefits.
"If we stop, we would have parents, siblings, boyfriends and girlfriends who would be
without benefits," Langford said. While the program is secure for now, she said there's
been some talk about reviewing it within the next year.
In Florida, public universities are planning to review their domestic partner benefits.
Because only spouses are eligible for state-funded benefits, state universities had to
come up with creative solutions to offer benefits to gay employees' domestic partners. It
was an anonymous gift that covered the additional cost of adding an adult beneficiary to
a health plan at Florida State University (FSU) starting in 2014, while the University of
North Florida (UNF) began covering the additional cost to employees through its
fundraising foundation in 2006.
Spokesmen for both universities said the programs played a role in attracting talent.
UNF is winding down its program, which had only been offered to same-sex couples,
said Vice President and Chief of Staff Tom Serwatka.
"When we went to this, we did so on the basis that heterosexual couples had a choice
whether they wanted to marry and understood the full implication of that choice.
Homosexual couples didn't have that choice." Now that they do, Serwatka said, it
makes less sense for the university to raise private funds to pay for the bene'fits.
'The university wasn't trying to change the idea of marriage as the policy for the state,
and state funding required marriage," he said.
FSU is reviewing its program, which only paid for health insurance for domestic partners
who could not get insurance through their work, said spokesman Dennis Schnittker.
"The gift was made under the belief of the donor that the state would be funding the
benefit in the near future," he said.
Ii
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41712016
After Same-Sex Marriage Ruling. States Reconsider Domestic Partner Benefits
No
Change?
In some states, however, domestic partner bene'flts are likely to continue.
California's domestic partner benefit statutes remain intact, and in Massachusetts the
policy is part of a still-standing executive order. Maine and Vermont, which was the first
state to offer domestic partner benefits, are not planning to change their programs.
"We wouldn't just get rid of it because same-sex marriage has come about,
n
said Tom
Cheney, deputy commissioner for Vermont's Department of Human Resources. "The
state of Vermont has long seen the value in offering domestic partner benefits to
couples of all types. It's a useful recruitment and retention tool for the state as an
employer."
Elliott believes it's too early to know what most employers-both public and private­
will do with domestic partner benefits.
"Once we get past this year into next year's open enrollment, we're going to see some
real change. The tea leaves haven't dried yet," he said.
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