Springfield Mayor Supports Civil Union Spousal Benefits for City Employees
The Illinois civil union law was implemented in June 2011 and, since then, there have been a lot of changes and controversies. One of these controversies is the right for civil union spouses to claim spousal benefits. According to the Windy City Times, the Springfield Mayor is backing spousal benefits for city employees who are in a civil union, despite the fact that the Joint Labor/Management Health Care Committee voted against awarding those benefits in December.
The Springfield committee, which includes retirees and city staffers, voted to maintain the already established eligibility standards for insurance; the current standards do not include civil union spouses. The vote, or the result of the vote rather, is claimed by the committee members as being legal because Springfield is self-insured and not subject to the same regulations as commercially-insured employers. Supposedly, a bill for extending the spousal insurance benefits of married couples would increase the cost of insurance by $725,000. Although the Mayor said that the vote was indeed legal, he has altered his position and is now urging the committee to reassess theirs when the next quarter comes around.
According to the Mayor, the actual increase in insurance costs would be negligible and nowhere near the estimated $725,000. No employee has yet inquired about benefits for civil union spouses, and so it is highly unlikely that the calculated 65 employees would apply for civil union spousal benefits, should they be offered.
With the various changes and back and forth decisions throughout the state regarding civil union rights, it is understandable that there would be a lot of confusion. If you are considering entering into a civil union, these uncertainties can make your decision even more difficult. At Nottage and Ward, our civil union lawyers in Chicago can help you understand the stipulations of the civil union law and help you come to an informed decision. To speak to one of our attorneys, call us today at (312) 332-2915.
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