December 11, 2009 at 3:53 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Kaine proposes DP benefits for state workers

The outgoing governor of Virginia is working to extend health benefits to the same-sex partners of state employees, but questions linger over whether his successor will accept the changes.

Last week, Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine (D) directed his office to start drafting the regulations that would be required for the rule change, but he has only a few weeks left in office and, according to the Washington Post, the rules won’t be ready for implementation for another 18 months. The decision on whether or not to enact the changes will be left to Republican Gov.-elect Bob McDonnell.

Kaine spokesperson Lynda Tran was quoted in the Virginian-Pilot as saying the benefits won’t bring any new costs to the state because the employee would take on any expenses associated with adding a person to the insurance rolls.

The new policy would apply not only to state workers with same-sex partners, but also employees seeking to cover other individuals in their households, including opposite-sex partners and adult children.

McDonnell’s transition team didn’t respond to DC Agenda’s request for comment. At a press conference last week, the governor-elect expressed concerns about what new costs the regulations would bring.

“My first question is, what [is] the cost to the state by expanding those policies?” McDonnell said, according to the Washington Post. “I am all for using business — public and private — to expand health-care coverage. … But what I don’t know is, what is the cost that has to be borne by the state government versus the individual new subscriber?”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • so, did Kaine manage to get this done before leaving office today? if not, why not?

  • will DC Agenda follow-up and get an answer on this? As Chair of the DNC, I think it’s important to look into why he didn’t do what he could when he could in for the GLBT community (who stuck with him) in Virginia. He’ll be back asking for support, we need information.

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