Senate Approves Bill To Expand Health Benefits to Registered Domestic Partners
The Senate on Thursday voted 23-14 to approve a bill (AB 205) that would expand legal, financial, employment and health benefits to same-sex, registered domestic partners, the Los Angeles Times reports (Ingram, Los Angeles Times, 8/29). The bill, which is sponsored by Assembly member Jackie Goldberg (D-Los Angeles), would "significantly 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. Gov. Gray Davis (D) last month said he would sign the bill if it were approved by the Legislature (California Healthline, 8/20).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.