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Michigan Universities May Be Exempt From Legislation That Would Ban Partner Benefits

[Updated, 8 p.m.] Legislation that would ban domestic-partner benefits for state employees was approved by the Michigan Senate on Wednesday after it was amended to exempt state colleges and universities, Annarbor.com reported. But on Thursday, as the House of Representatives also approved the package, one lawmaker said there was some confusion over whether the measure, if signed into law, would in fact apply to universities. “The Senate thinks no; the House thinks yes,” said State Rep. Jeff Irwin, a Democrat who opposed the legislation. Higher-education advocates have strongly opposed the proposal, which would prohibit state entities from offering health and other benefits to the domestic partners of employees and their children. University faculty and administrators worry about the effect such a ban would have on their ability to hire and retain top job candidates.

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