this article contains a brief interview with my neighbor from across the street. he is the probably the sweetest, most conservative, most unassuming, and politically correct guy i know.... well done, bob.
A bill that would make domestic partners of state employees eligible for coverage under state group-benefit plans narrowly passed its first test Wednesday.
The bill, Senate Bill 88 from Sen. Jennifer Veiga, D-Denver, passed out of a Senate legislative committee by a 4-3 party-line vote after spirited debate.
"It is the right policy," Veiga told committee members. "It is the right time."
The bill is the more modest of two bills seeking to give greater standing to domestic partners. The other, House Bill 1260 from Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, would make it easier for unwed couples, including gay couples, to plan their estates and share benefits in times of tragedy.
A number of speakers cast Veiga's bill as a matter of basic fairness. State employee Bob Bongiovanni told the committee that though he likes his job, if his partner of 20 years suddenly lost his own health-care coverage, Bongiovanni would have to find another job with benefits that could cover both of them.
"My employer, the state of Colorado, has decided that our commitment is not worthy of recognition," Bongiovanni said. "Could you in good conscience draw on your health insurance while watching your husband or your wife suffer with none?"
But bill opponents, such as the Focus on the Family-connected Colorado Family Institute, said it would be unfair to ask taxpayers to subsidize a policy that some might find immoral.
Republicans on the committee also bristled at what they thought were implications that their opposition amounts to bigotry.
"I respectfully resent any implication that my judgment on policy might result from seeing anyone as less than a human being or wanting to punish someone," Sen. Shawn Mitchell, R-Broomfield, said.
Mitchell questioned why Veiga would bring the bill when voters two years ago turned down a referendum that would have legalized domestic partnerships in Colorado.
"Doesn't this represent an action against the will of the voters?" Mitchell asked.
Veiga said that, by looking only at state policy toward its employees, the bill is much smaller in scope than what voters rejected.
"I see the two issues as dramatically different," she said.
The bill next goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
reprinted without permission from a denver post article by john ingold.
today's sound choice is a bit out of left field, but i felt like listening to it.
portishead doing "glory box". hope you enjoy..