DOMESTIC PARTNERS: Davis Vetoes Benefit Expansion Bills
Gov. Gray Davis (D) this week vetoed two bills that would have expanded benefits for domestic partners, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. SB 1149 sponsored by Sen. Tom Hayden (D-Los Angeles), would have expanded the Family and Medical Leave Act to include domestic partners, people caring for grandparents and siblings. Currently, the law requires employers to grant family leave only for a birth, adoption or serious illness of a child, parent or spouse. SB 1149 was a revised version of a bill Davis vetoed last spring, saying at the time it was "too broad" and "included people who live together but are not related or in a committed relationship." Davis had warned lawmakers that he was unwilling to consider expansion of the state's domestic partner laws this year. "As I said when I vetoed an earlier bill by this author, I would be pleased to consider reasonable changes to the Domestic Partner Act next year," Davis said in his veto message. Responding to Davis' decision, Hayden said, "I guess (Davis) is trying to teach us a lesson to not be in a hurry, but this affects the lives of a lot of people. And the people affected can't wait -- they have to pay bills every day and go to work while a loved one is home sick." Davis also vetoed AB 2421. Sponsored by Assembly member Carole Midgen (D-San Francisco), the bill would have made "technical changes" to the section of the law that permits seniors to register as domestic partners. Midgen and other supporters indicated that they would attempt "more comprehensive reform" next year (Gledhill, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/28).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.