Assembly Approves Senate Amendments to Domestic Partner Health Benefits Bill
The Assembly yesterday voted 41-32 to approve amendments passed by the Senate to a bill (AB 205) that would expand legal, financial, employment and health benefits to same-sex, registered domestic partners, the Sacramento Bee reports (Sanders/Fletcher, Sacramento Bee, 9/4). The Senate last week voted 23-14 to approve the bill, which is sponsored by Assembly member Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles). The bill would expand legislation passed in 2001 that allows same-sex couples to register as domestic partners and share benefits such as health insurance and hospital visitation rights. The bill, which would go into effect in 2005, would mandate that cities and counties provide health insurance to domestic partners if those same benefits are offered to heterosexual domestic partners, according to Sophia Kwong, legislative director for Goldberg. The measure also would extend to same-sex registered domestic partners the authority to consent to an autopsy or organ donation in the event of a partner's death (California Healthline, 9/2). The legislation will now be sent to Gov. Gray Davis (D), who has said he would sign the bill (Vogel, Los Angeles Times, 9/4).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.