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Arizona Considers
DP Benefits for State Employees

Arizona Considers
DP Benefits for State Employees

Arizona is close to offering health and other benefits to domestic partners of state employees, both gay and straight, according to a story in The Arizona Republic. The change in policy, supported by Gov. Janet Napolitano, would apply to about 65,000 current employees of the state government and public universities as well as about 9,000 retirees covered by the state's health plan.

Arizona is close to offering health and other benefits to domestic partners of state employees, both gay and straight, according to a story in The Arizona Republic.

The change in policy, supported by Gov. Janet Napolitano, would apply to about 65,000 current employees of the state government and public universities as well as about 9,000 retirees covered by the state's health plan.

"It's something that most of the other private corporations and large cities are doing, and it's time state government started doing it," Tim Nelson, general counsel to the governor, told the Republic. "It's something the governor believes strongly is the right thing to do."

State Department of Administration director Bill Bell filed the proposal for domestic-partner benefits November 7 with the secretary of state's office. It was published Friday along with the secretary of state's registry of proposed rules.

Citizens are likely to have less than 30 days to comment on the proposed change, after which a hearing will be scheduled. The governor's six-member Regulatory Review Council will make the final decision on the plan.

Arizona senate majority leader Thayer Verschoor, a Republican, described the plan as a "slippery slope" toward government acceptance on variations of traditional marriage.

"I think it's going to be met with a lot of resistance," he told the Republic. (The Advocate)

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