25 years after Berkeley, California became the first city to give benefits to domestic partners, another city follows suit this week. It was an unanimous vote for the Savannah City Council when they approved their new policy for city employees.
In order to be eligible under this new plan, the two partners must have shared the same residence for at least one year as well as the financial responsibility of living together. They must also offer proof of partnership. While this is a big measure, the effects will be pretty small right now. Based on the staff size the new plan should only cost the city about $100,000 more per year, based upon how many people take advantage of it.
However, not everyone in Savannah agreed with the council's decision, like Jean Levens, who stated that "They seem to be saying that domestic partnerships or roommates are a form of marital status and I don't agree with that." Alderman Tony Thomas believes that the city is simply advancing itself and is providing an equal experience of employment and its benefits for city workers.
The new plan will come into effect as of January 1, 2011.
Have questions pertaining to a domestic partnership? Contact Claery & Green to speak with a Los Angeles family law attorney.