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blog home Civil Unions Springfield Committee Reverses December Decision, Grants Benefits to Civil Union Spouses

Springfield Committee Reverses December Decision, Grants Benefits to Civil Union Spouses

By Nottage and Ward on January 16, 2012

In December, Springfield denied city employees civil union spousal benefits to the objections of LGBT rights groups. Soon after the decision, Springfield Mayor Mike Houston publicly announced his support of giving spousal benefits to the civil union partners of city employees and urged the Joint Labor/Management Health Care Committee to reverse its decision in the next session.

According to The Chicago Tribune, the committee has indeed reversed that decision, by a unanimous vote, and city employees who are in civil unions will be eligible for spousal health benefits in March of this year.

The original actuarial estimate of the cost of expanding benefits to civil union spouses, at $725,000, was the deciding factor in voting against such an action. However, the new estimated cost of expanding spousal health benefits is $67,000, based on the six or so city employees that would participate in the plan. Benefits are expected to begin on March 1, and, according to the Mayor, there will be no premium increases. Illinois gay rights groups laud the committee’s decision.

It is understandable that the still relatively new civil union law may cause confusion. At Nottage and Ward, our knowledgeable civil union attorneys in Chicago make a point to stay up-to-date with any and all changes relating to the rights of civil union couples in Illinois. If you and your partner are considering entering into a civil union, but are unsure of how that will affect things like health benefits, tax returns, and others, we can give you the information you need to make an informed decision. For a consultation, call us today at (312) 332-2915.

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