Republicans who control the Michigan House on Thursday started another attempt to block the offering of taxpayer-paid health insurance to domestic partners living with public employees.
The House passed legislation aimed at prohibiting public employers from extending the benefits to unmarried partners of employees— same sex or opposite sex — by a 64-44, mostly party line vote. The measure next goes to the Republican-led Senate.
It's unclear how much impact the legislation would have if it were to become law. The proposal is written to apply to "all public employers to the greatest extent consistent with constitutionally allocated powers."
Democrats who opposed the legislation say it is unconstitutional and would be challenged in court. They say public universities have the constitutional authority to determine their own policies, and that the Michigan Civil Service Commission has the power to make decisions about what kinds of benefits are offered to many state employees.
How many lawsuits do we have going against all the Republican legislation passed this year? Anyone keeping count? Anyone adding it up? It's got to be costing the taxpayers quite a bit of money to test the whole radical right-wing social and economic agenda in court.