Domestic partner benefits are becoming a hot topic for local governments. The Green Bay City Council turned down a proposal Tuesday to offer the benefits to same-sex couples. The decision comes just a month after Appleton’s City Council approved the idea, although, the issue is expected to come up again in the coming months during budget deliberations.
UW-Green Bay human development professor Christine Smith says offering the benefits is becoming more commonplace in the public and private sectors. She says a number of Fortune 500 companies now have them in order them to attract talent and out of a fairness to all of their employees. Smith says most people see company-sponsored benefits as a basic need.
The benefits do come with a higher price tag, and Smith admits that could have many local governments facing tight budgets looking at the issue as an extra expense that’s not needed right now. However, she notes that the benefits typically apply to only a handful of employees, so the extra cost is usually not very significant.
Rick Schuh, WHBY