Thursday, July 7, 2011

It’s Official: Milwaukee County Board Considers Domestic Partner Benefits.

At the behest of Milwaukee County Executive, Chris Abele, today a contingent  of Milwaukee County Supervisors introduced a Resolution  to offer a new benefit to Milwaukee County Employees – Domestic Partner Benefits. Despite the fact that statewide public employees are seeing their benefit structure readjusted and reduced, Milwaukee County is proposing this new additional benefit. 

This benefit would be offered to unmarried same-sex or opposite-sex domestic partners.

In an article  that appeared earlier this month in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee County could face a $51 million budget shortfall next year.  To deal with this the County Executive said he would not rule out wage cuts or layoffs.  While those pushing the benefit state they project approximately 1% of County employees to take this benefit (low estimate compared to two years ago when the estimate was 3% at  $4 million), still the initial year’s cost is anticipated to be approximately three- quarters of a million dollars.

Board Chairman Lee Holloway has referred this matter to the Finance & Audit Committee (which next meets July 21st) and the Personnel Committee (which next meets July 22nd).  If passed by the Committee it will move to the full County Board. You may contact all members of the Finance Committee here .   And you may contact all members of the Personnel Committee here .  You may also contact all Supervisors here .  Or you may call them at (414) 278-4222.

WI Legislators Introduce Penalty Enhances For Crimes Based on “Gender”

To further assist the LGBT Agenda, Senators Coggs, Risser, and Taylor have introduced Senate Bill 145 .  Co-sponsors of the legislation include Representatives Berceau, Sinicki, Spanbauer and Pocan.  Senate Bill 145 will add “an enhanced penalty” for certain crimes if the person committing the crime intentionally selects the victim based on his or her belief or perception of the victim’s “gender”.  It also “creates a civil cause of action for a person who suffers physical, emotional, or economic harm as a result of a gender-based act.”  This bill has been placed in the Committee on Judiciary, Utilities, Commerce, and Government Operations .  To share your views you may contact the Committee Members and also contact your own Senator and Representative at 1-800-362-9472.  To find out who your legislators are and their contact numbers, you may click here .