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Thursday, February 22, 2007

OutFront Minnesota Finally Posts Information About the Municipal Domestic Partner Bill on Their Website


Health Benefits Legislation
Hailed by OutFront Minnesota

OutFront Minnesota praised the introduction of legislation in the Minnesota Legislature that would permit (but not require) local governments to provide benefits to their employees' domestic partners. The organization applauds the diverse and bipartisan group of nearly 30 lawmakers who’ve signed onto the bill in the House and Senate.

"We are very pleased that the Legislature will consider a bill to improve life for people in Minnesota by allowing municipalities to offer domestic partner benefits to their employees if they wish to," said OutFront Minnesota Executive Director Ann M. DeGroot. "This allows local governments to do what Minnesota's private employers have done for years – attract and retain the best workers for the job."

Currently, no local government can offer domestic partner benefits even if they wish to because of a 1995 Court of Appeals decision (Lilly v. City of Minneapolis, 527 N.W. 2d Minn.App. 1995). The court determined that the legislature did not intend to include domestic partner benefits when it allowed local governments to offer employee benefits packages. This legislation closes the gap in the law identified by the court.

I encourage people to contact Governor Tim Pawlenty and ask him to support this bill. You can reach Pawlenty's office at 651-296-3391.