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Florida's CFO
Recognizes Domestic Partnerships

Florida's CFO
Recognizes Domestic Partnerships

Employees of Florida's Department of Financial Services can now use their sick leave to care for domestic partners.

Employees of Florida's Department of Financial Services can now use their sick leave to care for domestic partners, according to a press release from the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. The expansion of benefits was authorized by Alex Sink, the state's chief financial officer. The DFS employee handbook, to be released to new employees Tuesday, will revise current policy to "to be responsive to the changing needs of society, and to treat all persons fairly and equitably."

Sink's policy change was initiated at the request of the human rights council. On the day Sink was sworn into office in January of 2007, a letter from council president Rand Hoch was sent to James Cassady, Sink's chief of staff. In the letter Hoch asked Sink to consider granting DFS employees with domestic partners the same family benefits as married employees. The office began working on the request in April.

"CFO Sink's pro-family policy recognizing domestic partners is a significant first step for Florida," Hoch said in the statement. "Hopefully, Governor Crist will direct Department of Management Services secretary Linda South to investigate the possibility of offering domestic-partner benefits to all state employees."

The only state employers to offer the full range of domestic-partner benefits -- bereavement leave and health insurance -- are the University of Florida, Florida International University, Broward Community College, Florida Keys Community College, Hillsborough Community College, and Miami Dade College. (The Advocate)

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