City Council could vote on same sex partner benefits

(WEAU) - "It would be nice to have the same options as any straight couple," said Detective Clayton Wanta.

Detective Clayton Wanta has been with his partner for three years now and wants his partner to receive health insurance benefits because he believes its about fairness.

"I think it'll be a good thing, there's going to be employees that will be affected long after I'm gone from this department," said Wanta.

Wanta says he approached City Council members Andrew Werthmann and Mark Olson with the proposal.

Mark Olson says he has a reason on why he only chose same sex couples to receive the benefits.

"I feel that same sex don't have opportunity to get married, the state of Wisconsin doesn't recognize marriage between same sex partners,” said City Council member Mark Olson.

City Council Vice President Dave Duax says it would cost the city about an additional $8,700 dollars for each partner covered on the health plan and the employee then would pay a small percentage of that.

But Wanta says the issue isn't about cost.

“Cost is all relative because there's a new employee getting hired that may or may not be eligible for a family plan depending on their marital status,” said Wanta.

Council members Kerry Kincaid, Thomas Vue and David Klinkhammer say they'll have to look at more information before making a decision.

But City Council members could vote before May because of open enrollment.

"If we want to this, this is the time to take this action up so that we can get it in place, so when the open enrollment comes up we can apply for it," said Olson.

“I'm glad it was brought up because I think its something we've thought about but never talked about,” said City Council member David Duax.

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