It looks like the Milwaukee County Board finally got their act together and sustained Walker's veto to reject benefits for domestic partnerships. More specifically, the veto shoots down a study that would look into providing health care benefits to the gay partners of county employees. Walker released a statement saying,
"I am pleased that my veto on domestic partner benefits was upheld today. We cannot afford a new $3.9 million benefit. Employers in the private sector are not adding benefits and neither should the county."
This is certainly one approach to take. Wisconsin has a big fiscal mess with a six billion dollar budget deficit and a 9% unemployment rate. Milwaukee County's unemployment rate is slightly worse at 10% and our county budget deficit is 90 million or so. It would be prudent, therefore, to hold off new spending until we get things back in order.
However, this sends the wrong message. It implies that when we get our fiscal act together, we will pay for a study that looks into providing benefits to a non-legal partnership.
By providing the same health care benefits of a married couple to a non-married couple, the county would be defying the will of taxpayers who have already passed a state-wide referendum and amended our State Constitution to ban same-sex marriages or "anything substantially similar to it". The study is a slick way of bypassing the will of voters and creeping toward an unavoidable slippery slope of providing benefits to any couple who claims they have a sexual relationship.
So congratulations is in order to the County Board for sustaining Walker's veto. The citizens of Wisconsin are satisfied..