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Kalamazoo To Study Domestic Partner Benefits Law

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KALAMAZOO (WWJ/AP) - City commissioners in Kalamazoo are expected to look at options to help municipal workers under a new state law that blocks taxpayer-paid health insurance to domestic partners of some public employees.

Mayor Bobby Hopewell told the Kalamazoo Gazette that the city’s “administrative staff has to look at the law” and what must be done to comply.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed the legislation Thursday. The ban applies to health insurance and other fringe benefits for unmarried partners of the employees, whether they’re of the opposite or the same sex.

The law has immediate effect, but wouldn’t affect union-represented workers until current collective bargaining agreements expire.

Kalamazoo, about 50 miles south of Grand Rapids in southwest Michigan, has eight employees who receive domestic partner benefits.

TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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