Lexington council votes to offer domestic-partner benefits to city employees

bmusgrave@herald-leader.comNovember 21, 2013 

FILE PHOTO — Lexington Herald-Leader

Lexington will soon join Berea, Louisville and Covington as Kentucky cities that offer domestic partner benefits to city employees.

The Urban County Council voted unanimously Thursday night to implement the benefits. The council's vote come nearly a decade after the council repealed a similar provision that allowed domestic partner benefits.

There was no discussion before the vote on Thursday night. Council had discussed the policy in several previous meetings. City officials had previously estimated that up to 55 people could sign up for the new benefits, which would cost the city an additional $1,000 for each beneficiary. However, it's unlikely that 55 people will sign up for the benefits, based on the experience of other Kentucky cities and universities.

The ordinance says that to qualify for domestic partner benefits, the person must live with an employee for more than 12 months, be more than 18 years old and be financially interdependent — the person must share a mortgage, utility bills, etc. — with an employee.

Mayor Teresa Isaac tried to implement domestic partner benefits without the council's consent, but the council later overturned her decision in 2004.

It's not clear when the new domestic partner benefits will be offered to city employees. It will be sometime after the first of the year.

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