Community college professor wants domestic partner benefits

Feb 2, 2012

Northwest College in Powell is reviewing a professor’s request to extend health insurance benefits to domestic partners.

The University of Wyoming extended domestic partner benefits to its faculty last fall, citing its need to stay competitive with other universities when hiring.

If Northwest Community College in Powell decides to provide similar benefits, Executive Director of the Wyoming Community College Commission, James Rose, says money to pay for those benefits would come out of a different pot of money than spousal benefits.

"The understanding I have is that those benefits for same-sex partners kind of benefits, would be provided by the institution itself and not be reimbursed from state appropriation."

The State has specific rules regarding who qualifies, so money for domestic partner benefits would likely come from a State block grant that colleges have discretion in distributing. The final decision to extend benefits to domestic partners would be made by the college’s board of trustees.