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Vote gives domestic partner benefits to state employees

By Howard Fischer

Phoenix, AZ – The Governor's Regulatory Review Council has voted unanimously to extend health and other benefits to the domestic partners of state and university employees. But as Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer reports, the testimony, unlike the vote, was divided.

State Sen. Ken Cheuvront said the move is simply a recognition
that many private companies already offer such benefits, as do
several Arizona cities. That fact, he said, is well known by
state employees.

(We have a problem with retention at the state. And in order for
us, I think, to be able to retain these individuals we have to be
competitive and we have to provide benefits which are competitive
with the marketplace.)

But Phoenix area resident Donald Pertzborn said there's a larger
component to the question.

(As a taxpaying citizen I don't believe it's right for us to be
taking our state funds to be utilized for a lifestyle that I
consider to be aberrant, which would be a gay or homosexual
lifestyle or a cohabitating lifestyle.)

But council members said that is irrelevant, saying they had to
decide the issue solely on whether the move was legal and made
financial sense for the state. The benefits will begin Oct. 1st
unless sidelined by a possible court challenge.

For Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard Fischer