Milwaukee Common Council
Press Release

City health benefits now cover all families

The Common Council voted Tuesday to extend health and dental benefits eligibility to registered domestic partners of city retirees and to the children of all registered domestic partners.

By - Jul 25th, 2012 05:35 pm

The Common Council voted Tuesday to extend health and dental benefits eligibility to registered domestic partners of city retirees and to the children of all registered domestic partners.

Alderman Nik Kovac, the primary sponsor of the legislation making the benefits eligibility change, said extending benefits to domestic partners of city retirees and the children of all registered domestic partners was the right thing to do.

“Among larger cities, the City of Milwaukee was ahead of the curve a decade ago when my predecessor, Alderman Mike D’Amato, sponsored the successful domestic partnership registry in collaboration with Patrick Flaherty and LGBT Center Advocates,” Alderman Kovac said. “Now the city is continuing to forge ahead on the path toward economic justice and equality for all by extending benefits to the children of domestic partners for both active and retired employees.”

Alderman Kovac and co-sponsor Alderman José G. Pérez worked closely with the Mayor’s office and with Equality Wisconsin to craft the changes.

Alderman Pérez said the measure is an important way to extend equality to employees and retirees. “To me it is very simple — by providing equal benefit opportunities we show respect and we honor the dignity of our workers and our retirees,” Alderman Pérez said.

“Equality Wisconsin applauds the City of Milwaukee for taking such a positive and progressive stand when it comes to their employees,” said Jason Burns, Executive Director of Equality Wisconsin.

“In a time of uncertainty for the LGBT Community, the City of Milwaukee has boldly affirmed the equal value of all of its employees by ensuring that everyone is receiving equal pay and benefits for equal work,” Mr. Burns said.

“We are incredibly grateful to our friends and allies Mayor Tom Barrett, Alderman Nik Kovac, and Alderman José G. Pérez for their dedication to equality and to the LGBTQ Community,” he said.

Previously, city employees, retirees, the employees’ or retirees’ spouses, children, step-children, foster children or adopted children and registered domestic partners of active employees were eligible for health and dental benefits. The ordinance approved yesterday by the Council also extended the eligibility for these benefits to registered domestic partners of retirees and the children of all registered domestic partners.

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