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Lawmaker Wants to End State Benefits for Unmarried Couples after Marriage Ruling

One state lawmaker says it’s time to end state employee benefits for unmarried couples.

Michigan currently allows live-in partners and their dependents to receive health care benefits if they live with a state employee.

But critics of the policy say it’s no longer necessary now that same-sex couples can get married.

“This is not necessary. Everybody is allowed to get married. The taxpayers don’t want to pay for people that are not actually married,” said state Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge).

Jones has introduced a bill that would prohibit public employers from providing medical benefits to live-in partners and their dependents.

“If you want the benefits, put a ring on it,” he said.

But opponents say there are many reasons people decide not to get married.

“Especially as we age, issues of social security and retirement might be things that keep folks from making that decision to actually get married,” said state Sen. Rebekah Warren (D-Ann Arbor).

Michigan budget officials say ending the benefits would affect fewer than 300 people and save the state less than $2 million a year.


Here’s a link to the bill –
http://legislature.mi.gov/doc.aspx?2015-SB-0534

Image credit: Wikipedia

This post is a part of Michigan Public Radio Network.

The Michigan Public Radio Network is a consortium of 10 licensed public broadcasters with 31 transmitters serving nearly 900,000 listeners statewide. MPRN stations are committed to sharing resources to get news and information to public radio listeners all across Michigan.

About the Author

Jake Neher

Detroit Today - Producer & Special Projects Reporter

Jake Neher is a producer & reporter for Detroit Today

Jake.Neher@wdet.org   Follow @GJNeher

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