Thursday, September 15, 2011

Brody's Notes... Michigan House Passes Bills To Deny Partner Health Care Benefits

Michigan House Chamber
Photo via WikiMedia
By Brody Levesque | LANSING, MICHIGAN -- The Michigan House of Representatives today passed House Bills 4770 and 4771 by a vote of 64-44. These measures will eliminate health care benefits for unmarried partners of public employees. Additionally, the measures prohibit any state government entity in Michigan from providing such benefits and prohibit unions from including them in collective bargaining agreements.
The efforts were led by Michigan's Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette and the chief sponsor of the pair of bills, Representative Dave Agema,(R-Grandview), who have been trying to strip away health care benefits for same-sex couples since February.
Emily Dievendorf, the Policy Director for Equality Michigan said via press release:
“We are ashamed of our Republican lawmakers today. They continue to attack hardworking gay and transgender citizens rather than rebuilding our state. Anti-gay legislators are pushing a regressive policy agenda that ignores best practices in business and makes our state hostile to gay and lesbian couples. Voters should be outraged.”
“Tens of thousands of public and private employees in our state have access to health care benefits for domestic partners. Policies that provide such benefits are used throughout the country to treat employees fairly and retain talented workers. Leaders from Fortune 500 companies, public school districts, and municipal governments across the country know that their workforces are stronger when employees are able to take care of their families.”
Over 900,000 Michigan employees of private companies are eligible to offer health care benefits to their domestic partners. Over 20 major Michigan corporations provide such benefits, including Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, Dow Chemical and Whirlpool.
Several public entities provide health care benefits for domestic partners of employees, including the State of Michigan, at least 10 public universities, at least five city and county governments, and at least three public school districts.


Trab said...

All I can say is that it seems like migration time. All the major corporations and their workers should simply depart, leaving behind an industrial relic that matches the relic of the American state that Michigan has become.