Toledo Mayor Mike Bell announced April 27 the introduction of legislation that will provide benefits to domestic partners of city employees.
If passed, the legislation will offer the same health, dental and vision benefits to domestic partners of city employees that are currently offered to married couples and their children.
Eligibility will be granted to same sex and heterosexual couples who meet the criteria for domestic partnership as outlined in the Toledo Municipal Code.
Employees will then be required to obtain a certificate recognizing their partnership through the city’s Domestic Partner Registry.
Joining Mayor Bell were City Council President Joe McNamara, Council member Steven Steel and members of EqualityToledo Community Action, who are all supportive of the legislation.
“This will allow the city of Toledo to be a better recruiter of employees and send a signal to the community that Toledo is a welcoming place to live,” said David Mann, President of EqualityToledo Community Action.
Bell indicated his main motivation for proposing the legislation was to provide a sense of fairness to city employees.
“There are portions of our business actions that we currently have in place that aren’t necessarily fair to everyone,” Bell said.
The cost of benefits will be the same for domestic partners of city employees as it is for employees who seek benefit coverage for a spouse or family. Bell expects around 2 percent of current city employees to enroll in the program.
Several employers in Toledo currently offer these benefits to their employees, including: Owens Corning, the University of Toledo, Lucas County and the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The proposal will be placed on council’s agenda for May 1. The agenda review meeting will take place at 2 p.m., and the City Council meeting at 4 p.m. Both meetings will take place in Toledo City Council chambers at One Government Center.