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Mich. Lawmakers Debate Domestic Partner Benefits

LANSING (AP) – Republicans in the Michigan Legislature may make another attempt to block the offering of taxpayer-paid health insurance to domestic partners or other unrelated adults living with public employees.

Legislation debated in a House committee Tuesday would put prohibitions on domestic partner benefits in state law.

The measures likely would be challenged by some public employees who say their rights to collectively bargain issues including domestic partner benefits are protected in the state constitution. The proposal states it would apply to “public employers to the greatest extent consistent with constitutionally allocated powers.”

The Michigan Civil Service Commission has voted to allow domestic partner benefits for some state employees starting in October.

The Republican-led Legislature tried to overturn the decision but couldn’t get the two-thirds majority vote needed in the House.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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