December 3, 2004
I am writing today to clarify confusion caused by a series of inaccurate news headlines.
Yesterday’s news carried stories claiming that I removed domestic partner benefits from a contract between the state and the United Auto Workers. The implication that my administration is backing away from these benefits is off base; the assertion that we have “removed” these benefits is just plain wrong.
First, my position on this issue has not changed. I continue to support domestic partner benefits. In fact, one of the very reasons I opposed Proposal 2 here in Michigan was because I feared that its passage had the potential to take away those benefits – benefits that have been recognized by Fortune 500 companies as critical tools for attracting and retaining a world-class workforce.
Second, we continue to have an agreement with the UAW and other state employee unions to move forward with domestic partner benefits if they are allowed by law. However, with the passage of Proposal 2 in Michigan, a legal cloud now surrounds the question of whether the state can move forward. In order to enhance the likelihood of ultimate approval of these benefits, the Office of State Employer and the UAW reached an agreement not to move forward until the legal uncertainty surrounding this issue is resolved. Since these new benefits were not scheduled to take effect until October 1, 2005, we look forward to resolution of this issue so that these benefits can be implemented as planned this coming October. Let me be clear – if and when a court finds these benefits lawful, we will move forward with their implementation.
The UAW has been equally strong in responding to the inaccuracies of yesterday’s news. I hope you’ll visit their Website at http://www.uawlocal6000.org/ for additional information.
I regret the pain that these inaccurate news stories have caused and am especially disappointed that it comes on the heels of an election outcome that many of us felt so strongly about. I appreciate that so many friends have taken the time to contact my office to voice support for these benefits and to seek clarification on the status of this issue. I hope you will continue to keep in close contact in the future.
Jennifer M. Granholm
To view the letter visit https://www.pridesource.com/GranholmLetter12-03-04.pdf
December 3, 2004