I got an e-mail last night that said Eureka Springs had become the first city in the state to provide city employee health insurance coverage for domestic partners of the workers — same sex or different sex. Eureka, of course, is the only city in the state with a domestic partnership registry, a fact of little legal consequence but of great symbolic consequence to its reputation as a city that welcomes, even embraces, all. (PS — The city contributes only to workers’ coverage; partners coverage are a responsibility of the family.)
It would not be the first public agency in Arkansas to provide domestic partner coverage. The pioneers include the Central Arkansas Library System, where Director Bobby Roberts has always said the coverage is an incentive for workers. Happy workers — unburdened of worries about care for loved ones — tend to be better workers.
Jacqueline Froelich has reported on the news for KUAF, the public radio station in Fayetteville.
Here’s the release I received from Michael Walsh in Eureka Springs: