For immediate release. Contact: Jeff Bentoff, 414.278.5281
For Immediate Release
June 13, 2011
Contact: Jeff Bentoff


County Executive Chris Abele Seeks Domestic-Partner Benefits For Milwaukee County Employees

MILWAUKEE – County Executive Chris Abele announced on Monday he would work with the County Board toward adoption of an ordinance that would extend health benefits to domestic partners, a proposal that former County Executive Scott Walker blocked in 2009.

"To continue offering one category of employees fewer benefits than others is unfair and makes it more difficult to attract the best possible job candidates," Abele said. "I will work with the County Board for passage of a sensible domestic-partner benefits ordinance, and I will sign it."

Abele said many units of government in Wisconsin, including the State of Wisconsin and the City of Milwaukee, offer such benefits, as do dozens of private Wisconsin-based employers, including Northwestern Mutual, Aurora Health Care, Foley & Lardner, Miller Brewing, Associated Bank and Marquette University, as well as many national companies with operations in the state.

In 2009, the board voted, 13-6, to draft revisions to the county’s health care plan that would enable coverage for domestic partners. Walker, then the county executive, vetoed the measure.

Abele discussed his goal for passage of the ordinance on Friday at the opening ceremonies of PrideFest Milwaukee at Henry Maier Festival Park.