'Put a ring on it,' Jones again tells state workers

LANSING, MICH. - State Sen. Rick Jones, R-Grand Ledge, has again told state government workers to "put a ring on it" to earn some employer-sponsored benefits.

For more than a decade, state workers have been allowed to cover boyfriends, girlfriends or other adult "domestic partners" who have lived with them for at least year. The benefits were first negotiated into contracts in 2004, upheld by the Michigan Civil Service Commission over Gov. Rick Snyder's objections in 2011, and saved in 2013 when the Michigan Supreme Court refused to hear Snyder's challenge to them.

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On Monday, however, Jones announced he would introduce legislation limiting benefits only to spouses and dependents. State Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, will introduced similar legislation in the state House, according to a news release.

“If you are a state employee with a girlfriend or boyfriend and you want them to get state benefits, then make a commitment and get married. If you want it, put a ring on it,” Jones said in a statement.

That statement is identical to the one Jones issued in 2015, when he last pressed the issue. That bill failed to advance.

There are currently 114 domestic partners enrolled through the program, said Kurt Weiss, a spokesman for the Civil Service Commission. 

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© 2017 Lansing State Journal


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