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Milwaukee County DP Benefits OK’d

Milwaukee County DP Benefits OK’d


Milwaukee County employees will have access to health benefits for both same-sex and opposite-sex domestic partners starting next year under a measure signed into law Wednesday by County Executive Chris Abele.

Activists from Equality Wisconsin (pictured) gathered for the signing ceremony for the bill, passed by the Board of Supervisors last week. The board had approved a similar measure two years ago, only to see it vetoed by then-County Executive Scott Walker, who is now Wisconsin's governor.

Abele, on the other hand, had championed the plan, although some members of the board feared it would be too costly, at $742,000 annually, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. Supporters, however, called domestic-partner benefits a matter of fairness and pointed out that the city of Milwaukee and the state have offered them without hardship. Board chairman Lee Holloway, who voted for the bill, said that if cost becomes a problem, the board could decide to limit the benefits to same-sex partners, cutting the tab by 75%, when it goes into the budget process this fall.

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