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University Of Arizona To Restore Domestic Partner Benefits

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Nearly seven months after Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer passed a bill eliminating domestic partner benefits for state employees, the University of Arizona has announced it will reinstate benefits for affected workers.

The

Arizona Daily Star

reports:

The new state law, which changes partner benefits by redefining the word "dependent," was signed in September 2009 and will take effect on Oct. 1. The new UA plans will kick in on that day, too. A dependent will then be a "spouse under the laws of this state," which excludes unmarried domestic partners.

The UA wanted to cover both gay and heterosexual relationships, because "in order for us to be competitive, to be able to attract talented people, we need to be able to offer benefits that other employers are offering," said Allison Vaillancourt, UA vice president for human resources.

In September, U of Arizona President Robert Shelton pledged to "come up with a way this university can aid these individuals in buying separate coverage."

The initial legislation would have left 800 employees without benefits.

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