Council Establishes Domestic Partner Benefits Policy

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Full-time Athens city employees can register their domestic partners to receive insurance benefits beginning next year.

Athens City Council members voted unanimously Monday night to pass an ordinance establishing a domestic partner benefits policy for city employees.

Council member Chris Knisely (D-At Large) says the ordinance is the culmination of the previous work of past council members.

Knisely says now, it all just comes down to paperwork.

“By then completing this paperwork and the passage of this ordinance, the domestic partners would be able to, or the city employees would be able to, register for the domestic partner benefits on January 1 of this year,” said Knisely.

Employees would have to file an affidavit declaring their domestic partnership and meet certain criteria, such as shared residence and joint responsibility for living expenses.           

"I think it's a good thing.  We held this up for a while because we were looking at the finances of the situation, from what I've been told, and the way we worked it out it's not going to be burdensome to our budget," said Mayor Paul Wiehl (D-Athens).