City leaders are pushing to extend health benefits to domestic partners, 10TV's Maureen Kocot reported Wednesday.
The city was one of the first, but now one of the last employers in central Ohio, to offer the benefits to people who are living together but are not married.
Mayor Michael Coleman is in serious discussions with City Councilman Andrew Ginther to have a plan in place by the end of the year, Kocot reported.
No one is estimating how much the extended benefits would cost taxpayers.
This year, Franklin County offered domestic partner benefits to 5,300 employees. The city employs about 8,000 people. The extended benefits will cost Franklin County more than $638,000 this year, or about one percent of the county's health benefits budget.
"Columbus City Schools, Franklin County, The Ohio State University, other major public employers offer these benefits as well as Fortune 500 companies in Columbus and around the country," Ginther said. "I think most people view it as if you work hard you play by the rules, you ought to have access to the same benefits as other employees."
In December 1998, when Coleman was City Council president, domestic partner benefits were about to be passed but there was some opposition to the idea and it did not go through, Kocot reported.
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