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Commission delays decision on partner benefits for state workers

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network


The future of allowing unmarried state employees to put their live-in partners on their benefit plans is in doubt. As we hear from Michigan Public Radio's Rick Pluta, the state Civil Service Commission has delayed a decision on domestic partner benefits - probably until next year.

The state Civil Service Commission says the Granholm administration's proposal needs to be redrafted to fix technical problems - such as ensuring state employees can only claim one partner.

The plan was designed to comply with the voter-approved ban on gay marriage and civil unions in the state constitution. It would apply equally to same-sex and male-female couples.

Commission member Thomas Wardrop says he expects the question of benefits for unmarried partners will come up again in January when there will be a new governor.

"I think it's pretty clear that we're going to address this issue and do an up and vote on it," he says.

At least one Republican legislator has vowed to fight unmarried partner benefits if they are part of next year's budget. A spokesman for Governor-elect Rick Snyder says he has not taken a position on the question.

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