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Equality Is Coming To Milwaukee County

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on October 21, 2009

It was definitely a pleasant surprise when I saw Item #3 on the agenda for the upcoming meeting of the County Board’s Personnel Committee:

A Resolution by Supervisors Larson and Dimitrijevic authorizing and directing the Director, Department of Administrative Services – Division of Employee Benefits, working with the Office of Corporation Counsel, Department of Audit, and County Board staff, to draft revisions to the Milwaukee County Employee Health Plan to extend health benefit coverage to domestic partners of eligible Milwaukee County employees.

This is exciting news indeed!  It will bring Milwaukee County in line with the City of Milwaukee, the State of Wisconsin and many other communities around the nations in bringing a fuller quality of life and fairness to the people.

I contacted Supervisor Larson to discuss this piece of good news.  He shared with me a statement that he had sent to his fellow Supervisors.  Here is an extract from it:

This Friday in the Personnel Committee, Supervisor Dimitrijevic and I will be introducing a resolution to extend health benefit coverage to domestic partners of eligible Milwaukee County employees.  This follows the passing of a similar measure in the state budget earlier this year.  The City of Milwaukee has granted benefits to domestic partners for years before this.  In total, there are 616 different municipal or county governments or school districts and 20 states across the country that provide domestic partner health benefits.  Similarly, many private businesses are providing domestic partner benefits in order to draw on a wider pool of potential employees.

Passage of the resolution this cycle is simply to push for a further study of what the impact will be if Milwaukee County does allow health coverage to domestic partners of eligible Milwaukee County employees.  After being reviewed, it would come before the Personnel Committee and the full Board for final approval.  I hope that you will vote with me for this first step toward equality in our County.

It is never a bad time to correct an injustice.

Supervisor Dimitrijevic was more direct, but equally eloquent, with her statement:

This is about equality, it is never a bad time to do the right thing.

Milwaukee County First fully agrees with these sentiments.  This is a step that is long overdue.  When this resolution is finalized, and another great step towards equality is taken, it can only help but make Milwaukee County an even better place to live and to work.

We at Milwaukee County First strongly urge the other Supervisors and County Executive Scott Walker to also endorse this resolution and enhance Milwaukee County’s standing as a leading community in the state and the country.


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