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Employees in Illinois Treasurer's office now get domestic partner benefits

By AP/KWMU

Chicago, ILL. – Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias announced Sunday that he is extending domestic partner benefits to his employees. The change takes effect July First, which will actually make the 200 workers in the Treasurer's office the last among executive branch offices to make the change.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed an executive order last year allowing all constitutional officers to extend benefits to the same-sex partners of state employees.

All the officeholders began offering domestic partner benefits except the state treasurer.

Giannoulias' predecessor, Judy Baar Topinka, cited concerns about the cost of extending the benefits.

It's not known how much Giannoulias's announcement will cost the state, but a spokeswoman says its not a financial issue; it's an equal access to healthcare issue.

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