Domestic partners must prove commitment, city council says
JANESVILLE--Just what is a domestic partner?
The question might come to mind after the Janesville City Council voted 6-1 Monday in favor of extending health care benefits to employees with domestic partners. DuWayne Severson was the “no” vote.
The term applies to same-gender and opposite-gender couples.
But that doesn’t mean roommates can sign up, council member Sam Liebert said after the meeting.
Under the city’s definition, domestic partnership means the individuals:
Share a common residence.
Consider themselves to be members of each other’s immediate families.
Share responsibility for each other’s welfare, financial obligations and living expenses.
According to a city memo, a couple enrolling as domestic partners would submit proof of:
Having filed a declaration of domestic partnership with the Rock County Clerk’s Office or with the state or having filed an affidavit of domestic partnership with the city.
Joint home ownership or lease.
A joint checking or savings account.
City Manager Eric Levitt said the city will fine-tune the policy by adding a way to monitor the status of domestic partners and defining the length of time couples must be together before they can apply for benefits.
The city will write a policy to measure if couples meet the domestic partnership definition, he said.