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Biggest Ohio County Considers Partner Benefits

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CLEVELAND – Ohio’s largest county is exploring whether to offer health coverage to the unmarried or gay partners of its employees.

The Plain Dealer of Cleveland reports Cuyahoga County will survey its workers to determine how many might seek the benefits.

County Councilwoman Sunny Simon thinks the number will be low and that there would not be much impact on taxpayers.

She introduced domestic partner benefits legislation last week. To qualify, couples would have to sign affidavits and answer questions about their living and financial arrangements.

County Executive Ed FitzGerald says he supports the legislation, calling it “an issue of equity and fairness.” But he wants to learn more about the potential cost.

Cuyahoga County includes Cleveland, which began offering domestic partner benefits to its workers last month.

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