Illinois Treasurer Extends Domestic Partner Benefits to Office Staff

June 18, 2007 ( - Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias announced this weekend that he is extending domestic partner benefits to his employees.

His entire staff of roughly 200 workers will be eligible to apply for the benefits when the change takes effect July 1, said Giannoulias spokeswoman Kati Phillips, according to the Associated Press.

The state’s constitutional officers got the power to extend domestic partner benefits to the same-sex partners of state employees last year from an executive order signed by Governor Rod Blagojevich, the AP said.

TheIllinois treasurer’s office was the only statewide government agency that did not offer the coverage. Giannoulias’ predecessor, Judy Baar Topinka, said she was concerned about the cost of the benefits extension.

Phillips did not know how much the change would cost the state but said it is not about economics. “This is not a financial issue, it’s a health care issue,” she said, according to the news report.