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:
Those who voted in the negative were:
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
May 15th, 2008
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.