March 14, 2003
House Revives Same-Sex-Partner Insurance Bill
The Associated Press
SANTA FE The House revived and approved a measure Friday to require insurance companies to offer coverage for same-sex domestic partners if they are included in a group health insurance plan.
The bill had failed Thursday on a 30-30 vote, with 10 people absent or excused.
On Friday, the House reconsidered its earlier vote and then passed it 33-30. The bill goes to the Senate.
"There were a lot of people absent who wanted to vote for this bill," Rep. Mimi Stewart, D-Albuquerque, told her colleagues.
The bill will guarantee coverage if employers decide to offer health insurance benefits to the domestic partner of a worker or the partner's child. The bill will not force employers to provide the coverage, Stewart said.
The measure would apply to same-sex or opposite-sex domestic partners.
Republicans complained that the Democratic majority was reviewing votes on bills.
"It's time that we just move on and deal with the people's business," said Rep. Dan Foley, R-Roswell.