Parker Wiseman has ensured that city employees would be able to purchase health plans for domestic partners.
The mayor of Starkville, Mississippi, Parker Wiseman, has now vetoed on a board amendment that had withdrawn part of a same sex insurance policy that would have given city employees the ability to purchase health plans for domestic partners.
The original insurance news had been that the city would no longer cover same sex domestic partners.
Immediately after the decision of the board, which was a 4 to 2 vote, to revoke the coverage for same sex insurance, Wiseman took the opportunity to express his disappointment. Since that time, the mayor’s office has sent a notice of his veto, which underscored the fact that on September 2, the board had previously unanimously given their approval to the city’s medical insurance benefit plan.
The veto statement went on to state that the same sex insurance coverage would not be withdrawn.
It stated that the exclusive purpose of the amendment on September 16 had been to eliminate domestic partners from eligibility for coverage. In his notice, Wiseman expressed that “I cannot abide a decision to deny any of our employees the opportunity to see to it that their loved ones can receive medical care when they are sick. It is an opportunity that the city is fully capable of providing and it costs the city nothing.”
The motion to amend the policy was drafted by Alderman David Little. He argued that the policy allowing for domestic partners, including those of the same sex, to be covered by a city employee’s health plan benefits would throw the door open to fraud and collusion. He said that “It could have a negative financial impact on our city, and it’s a valid point of concern regardless where anyone stands on it morally.”
Both Alderman Little and Alderman Ben Carver (who voted for Little’s motion), also explained that the board had not been provided all of the information necessary about the domestic partner and same sex insurance coverage when they gave their approval vote for the original September 2 city policy. Carver said that “We were lied to and either by accident or design, we weren’t told exactly what the plus-one coverage meant.”