Senator wants domestic partners to "put a ring on it" or lose state benefits | Michigan Radio
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Senator wants domestic partners to "put a ring on it" or lose state benefits

Oct 5, 2015

Credit Robert Scott / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Michigan Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, this week introduced legislation that would get rid of health benefits for domestic partners of state employees.

Right now, domestic partners may apply for benefits as long as they live together.

Under the bill, public employers would be banned from offering domestic partner benefits.

Jones said the benefits leave the system open to "fraud and abuse."

"I've heard stories of people put that put their friends on [their insurance plan]," Jones said. "I think that we need to ensure that the state taxpayers are only funding married people and their dependents."

The state first enacted benefits for domestic partners during the Granholm administration, when gay marriage was illegal in Michigan.

"Now everybody can get married, so it's time to show a commitment and get married, or you shouldn't be getting the state benefits," Jones said.

Jones said children would still be eligible to receive benefits, as long as one of their parents is a state employee.

The bill has been referred to the Government Operations Committee.