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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

City of Minneapolis Likely to Support Municipal Domestic Partners Bill

From Outfront's website:

OutFront Minnesota Public Policy Director Monica Meyer testified before the Minneapolis Intergovernmental Relations Committee March 6th on the Local Government Health Benefits Bill. The committee then voted unanimously to incorporate the bill as part of the city's legislative agenda. City Council Member Ralph Remington told Meyer, "I'm glad this is moving forward and I commend your efforts." The full city council votes on the measure March 9th.

Jo Marciano from Outfront also tipped me off that Representative Paymar has been added as a sponsor to the state domestic partner bill (SF 1369). The first hearing for this will be this Friday - Room 123 - 12:30pm.

I also got this week's ENews:

Hearing This Friday on State Domestic Partners Bill

One of OutFront Minnesota's key initiatives this legislative session is to restore domestic partner benefits to state employees. State employees received domestic partner benefits under former Governor Jesse Ventura in 2001, only to have them taken away in 2002/2003 when the legislature refused to approve union contracts that included domestic partner benefits.

On Friday, the Senate Committee on State and Local Government Operations will hold a hearing on the bill (SF 1369) that is open to the public. We encourage you to attend if possible. The hearing is Friday, March 9th, at 12:30 pm in Room 123 of the State Capitol in Saint Paul.

ACT NOW! Please take a moment NOW to contact your legislators in St. Paul to express your support for SF 1369/HF 1618!

Please call, write, email, or fax your legislators today! Click here for the House members directory; click here for the Senate directory.

Don't know who represents you in St. Paul? Click here for OutFront Minnesota's District Finder, which will provide you the names of your state representative and senator and access to their voting record, if any, on GLBT-related issues.

Here is a sample letter to send to your legislators:
If your senator and/or representative is not among the authors, your letter might look something like this:

Dear Representative/Senator ________:

My name is ______, and I live in your district.

I strongly support legislation that would provide health care benefits for the domestic partners of State employees. I believe this is important because:

• Offering equal benefits for equal work promotes fairness in the workplace and respect for the desire all workers have to provide for their families.
• The State of Minnesota has an interest in providing access to health care and reducing uncompensated costs for its employees.
• The bulk of the discussion around domestic partner benefits is about providing medical coverage to a relatively small group of people, who may not otherwise have access to health care.
• Xcel Energy, 3M, Medtronic, General Mills and hundreds of employers extend health care benefits to the domestic partners of their employees because they have found that fair treatment in the workplace allows them to recruit and retain critical employees.
• The State of Minnesota should be a leader in promoting the fair and equal treatment of all its employees.

(If you have a story about how the legislation might impact you - or someone you care about - personally, it would be great to add it here.)

Please vote "yes" on SF 1369/HF 1618.

Thank you for considering my position.

Your Name
Your Full Mailing Address

If you have not contacted your legislators already, please do so and ask them to support SF 1369.

This bill is one of several that has been introduced this session and part of our ongoing efforts to lead Minnesota toward GLBT equality.


Poll Shows Support for Local Government Domestic Partner Benefits

A new poll shows more than half of Minnesotans support allowing local governments to offer domestic partner benefits, one of the other bills we're advocating at the legislature.