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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Kudos to Sen. Linda Higgins and Rep. Jim Davne - Municipal Benefits Bill Passed Minnesota House

Earlier this year it passed 43-22 in the Senate. Geoff Michel (who is in a district that would favor this legislation) voted no. Both house members in the district - Ron Erhardt and Neil Peterson, voted yes. The vote in the Senate is one vote short of being able to override a Governor's veto. Geoff Michel said at a public forum I was at, when I and others challenged him on his support for the Bachmann amendment. He said he supported Civil Unions, just not gay marriage. So his vote is contrary to what he said in a public forum. In the house, it's 7 votes short of overriding the governor. (90 votes needed to do that). I assume this is ready to go to the Governor. I just called his office (651-296-3391), and left a message asking him to sign the bill.

It will be interesting to see if the DFL puts out a press release pointing out that Erik Paulsen is out of touch on this issue, the way they did for Stem Cell research and comprehensive sex ed. Or is something that openly promotes a gay issue something the DFL state party is unwilling to do when promoting one of their congressional candidates?

Here's the bill status summary:

Here's where you can view the house vote:

The question was taken on the passage of the bill and the roll was called. There were 83 yeas and 50 nays as follows:

Those who voted in the affirmative were:

Anzelc
Atkins
Benson
Berns
Bigham
Bly
Brown
Brynaert
Bunn
Carlson
Clark
Davnie
Dill
Dittrich
Dominguez
Eken
Erhardt
Faust
Fritz
Gardner
Greiling
Hansen
Hausman
Haws
Hilstrom
Hilty
Hornstein
Hortman
Hosch
Huntley
Jaros
Johnson
Juhnke
Kahn
Kalin
Knuth
Kranz
Laine
Lenczewski
Lesch
Liebling
Lieder
Lillie
Loeffler
Madore
Mahoney
Mariani
Marquart
Masin
Moe
Morgan
Morrow
Mullery
Murphy, E.
Murphy, M.
Nelson
Norton
Paymar
Pelowski
Peterson, A.
Peterson, N.
Peterson, S.
Poppe
Rukavina
Ruud
Sailer
Scalze
Sertich
Simon
Slawik
Slocum
Solberg
Swails
Thao
Thissen
Tillberry
Tschumper
Wagenius
Walker
Welti
Winkler
Wollschlager
Spk. Kelliher


Those who voted in the negative were:

Abeler
Anderson, S.
Beard
Brod
Buesgens
Cornish
Dean
DeLaForest
Demmer
Dettmer
Doty
Drazkowski
Eastlund
Emmer
Erickson
Finstad
Garofalo
Gottwalt
Gunther
Hackbarth
Hamilton
Heidgerken
Holberg
Hoppe
Howes
Koenen
Kohls
Lanning
Magnus
McFarlane
McNamara
Nornes
Olin
Olson
Otremba
Ozment
Paulsen
Peppin
Ruth
Seifert
Severson
Shimanski
Simpson
Smith
Tingelstad
Urdahl
Ward
Wardlow
Westrom
Zellers

The bill was passed and its title agreed to.

A number of legislators who had voted for the Bachmann amendment voted for this. These include Denise Dittrich (who voted FOR a creationism amendment earlier this year), Bev Scalze, Al Junhke, Neil Peterson (who is facing a Republican endorsed opponent in the primary) and Patti Fritz.

Call the Governor at 651-291-3391 and ask him to SIGN this bill. The state has no business micromanaging HR in municipal governments.

Also, Kudos to OutFront Minnesota. I was expecting that this bill would get lost in the shuffle. From OutFront Minnesota:



Date: Thu, May 15, 2008 at 2:21 PM
Subject: HOUSE PASSES LOCAL GOVERNMENT HEALTH BENEFITS BILL
To:
May 15th, 2008
Contact:
Jo Marsicano, Communications Director
612-822-0127 ext. 106
Minnesota House Passes Local Government Benefits Bill

Legislation Would Enable Local Governments to Offer Domestic Partner Benefits

(St. Paul) The Minnesota House today passed the local government benefits bill (SF 960) which would allow local governments to offer domestic partner benefits to their employees' families. The bill's language does not reference domestic partners specifically but allows local units of government such as cities, counties, and school boards to offer whatever benefits they choose to their employees. If the bill were to become law, it would enable local governments to decide whether to incorporate domestic partner benefits, as well as other types of benefits, into their employee benefits packages.

Currently, due to a 1995 Minnesota Court of Appeals ruling, local governments cannot offer benefits outside of those provided to employees, spouses, and children. This bill would remedy that restriction.

"This bill is a common-sense and fair solution to helping provide Minnesota families with the security of health care," according to Public Policy Director Monica Meyer. "At the same time, it allows local governments to make the best decisions for their own communities." The legislation allows – but does not require – local governments to expand the types of benefits they offer employees' families. Domestic partner benefits are offered by more than 300 companies doing business in Minnesota. This legislation would allow local governments to follow the lead of what business is already doing.

The bill passed the Senate in April. It now goes to the governor.

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1 comments:

Twice Blessed said...

Why are gay partner benefits an issue that is supported in Michele's district? We are governed by Republican state Representatives last I checked. Republicans are generally only supportive of benefit rights for marriages between men and women. Peteson and Erhardt are once again on the wrong side of this issue and that is why they were not endoresed at the Republican conventions this spring.