Governor Tim Kaine has proposed to extend the Virginia health care plan to include domestic partners and other qualified adults of state employees. One major reason for extending the health care plan is to attract highly qualified individuals to the Virginia job market, especially at the college/university level.
The highly qualified adults could include grown children, a domestic partner, parents-in-law, to name a few relationships. One qualifier would be that the person must live with the state employee. The cost would be picked up by the employee, not the state.
Opponents are already offering up a hue and cry over Gov. Kaine throwing a bone to the gays. Additionally the opponents have said it will cost the tax payer money. The employee would bear the cost. Still others feel that only married couples and their children should have the privilege of health care.
Many major companies coming in to the Old Dominion have offered similar type benefits to their employees. State officials feel that extending state benefits puts the state, as an employer, on a level playing field with other companies and agencies.
Would state employees be exempt from having to pay income tax on these benefits? Good for Virginia for seeing the need to incorporate as many into a health care program as possible. This is a positive step that costs the state nothing.