BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       


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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                  SB 1049|
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                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  SB 1049
          Author:   Speier (D)
          Amended:  5/9/01
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE PUBLIC EMP. & RET. COMMITTEE  :  3-2, 5/7/01
          AYES:  Soto, Karnette, Romero
          NOES:  Haynes, Oller


           SUBJECT  :    County employees' retirement:  domestic  
          partners:  San 
                      Mateo County

           SOURCE  :     American Federation of State, County and  
          Municipal 
                      Employees


           DIGEST  :    This bill amends the County Employees Retirement  
          Act of 1937 ('37 Act) to permit the San Mateo County Board  
          of Supervisors to provide that  "domestic partners"  of San  
          Mateo county employees (as defined) will be eligible for  
          the same survivor benefits now received by the spouses of  
          eligible county employees who die either before or after  
          retirement from county service.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing '37 Act law provides that:

          1.Only spouses (husbands and wives) of eligible county  
            employees are entitled to survivor benefits provided by  
            the county retirement system when an eligible county  
            employee dies either before or after retirement (if no  
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            spouse, minor children are entitled).

          2.Basically, the survivor benefit for a non-service  
            connected death is 60 percent of the retirement benefit  
            the member was receiving (for a death after retirement),  
            or was entitled to receive (for a death of an eligible  
            member before retirement).  The 60 percent survivor  
            benefit is received by the surviving spouse until his or  
            her death.

          This bill provides that:

          1.Same sex domestic partners, or opposite sex domestic  
            partners over age 62 of San Mateo County employees will  
            be eligible for the same survivor benefits received by  
            spouses of county employees.

          2.Only domestic partners of county employees who meet the  
            above criteria and for whom there has been an Affidavit  
            of Domestic Partnership on file with San Mateo County for  
            at least one year are eligible to receive survivor  
            benefits.

          3.This bill will only affect those employees who retire or  
            die after the effective date.

           Similar Legislation

           Similar legislation was SB 1410 (Speier), which passed the  
          Senate with a vote of 28-10, but was ultimately vetoed by  
          the Governor.  In his veto message, the Governor states, in  
          pertinent part:

            "This bill would allow San Mateo County to?provide new  
            domestic partner benefits using a definition of  
            domestic partners that goes far beyond that of the  
            State program.  For these reasons I can not support  
            this bill."

          This bill, as amended 5/2/01, provides a definition of  
          domestic partner that is consistent with existing law to  
          try to satisfy to Governor's concerns in the above veto  
          message.








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           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  No    
          Local:  No

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/9/01)

          American Federation of State, County and Municipal  
          Employees (source)
          California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
          California Alliance for Pride and Equality


          TSM:cm  5/9/01   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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