Domestic partner benefits get shot down in the legislature's budget committee. Governor Jim Doyle included language in his budget, to allow the state to offer benefits to domestic partners of state employees. Madison Democrat, Representative Mark Pocan , said it wouldn't cost much, noting the University of Minnesota claimed the total cost for providing domestic partner benefits in state was $189,000. Pocan noted UW is the only Big Ten university to still not offer domestic partner benefits, which are also offered by many private employers in Wisconsin. He said there are no good fiscal or policy reasons for the state not to do likewise. "While it's great that this is good politics for some peoples' base, that's certainly a crappy way to proceed with any kind of public policy," Pocan said, adding that he's yet to hear a good argument why his partner Phil, who he married in Canada last year, should not be covered under Pocan's state benefits package. Republicans rejected his arguments: the governor's initiative failed on a 8-to-8 party line vote.

AUDIO Rep. Mark Pocan (8:30 MP3)

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