Despite a budget deficit of 6.6 billion dollars in Wisconsin, on Friday afternoon, May 22nd , Wisconsin’s Joint Finance Committee approved by a 12-4 vote a measure to create new statewide domestic partner benefits for state of Wisconsin employees. According to the Legislature’s budget office, these new special benefits will cost between 4.7-6.7 million dollars every year. Besides the fiscal cost, many believe this measure violates the marriage amendment passed by voters in 2006 and will likely face a court challenge. Now that the committee has passed the measure it will now move to the full legislature as early as June. Both your assemblyman and your senator will be voting on this measure at that time. To share your views you may contact the Wisconsin Legislative Hotline at 1-800-362-9472.