NV Approves State Employee Benefits for Domestic Partners

June 9, 2008 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Domestic partners of Nevada state employees - including same-sex couples - would get health insurance coverage under a measure approved last week.

However, the Associated Press reported, the state may not be able to come up with the necessary $2.7 million to fund the initiative despite the 5 to 3 approval by the State Public Employees Benefits Program. The news report said that the initiative simply won’t take effect if Nevada lawmakers don’t find the funds to pay for it during the 2009 legislative session.

Candice Nichols, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Center of Southern Nevada, praised the decision, saying it “enables Nevada to recruit the best and brightest employees for the state. For too long, Nevada has not been able to offer the same benefits package options to current and prospective employees and compete with other states for the most qualified employees.”

Presidents of Nevada’s eight higher education institutions petitioned the benefits board in 2007 to make the move to help them in their recruitment efforts.

On the other side of the issue, critics argued it could lead to children being taught that same-sex and opposite-sex relationships were “moral equivalents.”

More information about the benefit board’s vote is available at http://www.pebp.state.nv.us/informed/brdpkts/NoticeOfIntent6-5-08.pdf .