Sarpy Commissioners Expand Same Sex Benefits

By: Jacki Ochoa Email
By: Jacki Ochoa Email
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The Sarpy County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 on Tuesday to broaden its policy on health care benefits for legally married same-sex couples.

Prior to the Tuesday meeting, Sarpy County only allowed same sex couples health benefits if they were legally married and lived in a state that allowed it, like Iowa.

But the board voted Tuesday to allow all couples coverage, regardless of where they live.

Matt Barrall, president of the Sarpy County Fraternal Order of Police told commissioners, “Rarely do we have, as a body or you as a commission, the ability to make such a great impact on someone and not have it affect negatively the rest of county."

Commissioner Don Kelly said, “I read the state constitution and the way it stands today and it says that marriage is between a man and a woman. And I'm not passing a moral judgment on whether that's right or wrong or indifferent but I just don't see how we can offer a benefit that's counter to our own state constitution."

The county attorney says he looked into that and found it is constitutional.

There are 605 county employees right now. According to several sources, this is likely to have an impact on a handful of married, same sex couples.

Enrollment is scheduled to begin in February.

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