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The bill cleared the committee in on a voice vote after a short discussion of a new fiscal note attached to the bill. Budget officials now estimate a law allowing same-sex couples to wed will cost the state about $688,000 a year to provide health insurance benefits to the spouses of state employees. The proposal is also projected to generate about $10,000 in revenue annually through collections from marriage license fees.

Gay marriage bill clears final House committee ahead of likely vote

Rep. Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis, is authoring the gay marriage bill in the House (Staff photo: Peter Bartz-Gallagher)

In what will be its last stop before a likely vote on the House floor, a bill to legalize same-sex marriage — and a newly attached fiscal note — cleared the Ways and Means Committee Monday evening.

The proposal passed the committee on a voice vote after a short discussion of a new fiscal note attached to the bill.  Budget officials now estimate a law allowing same-sex couples to wed will cost the state about $688,000 a year to provide health insurance benefits to spouses of state employees, or about 114 additional people. The proposal is also projected to generate about $10,000 in revenue annually through collections from marriage license fees.

The revenue collected from the fees is projected to be considerably higher in the first year a gay marriage law is in place, as budget officials anticipate an initial rush from same-sex couples to get married.  Minnesota Management and Budget estimates the state will collect more than $190,000 from wedding license fees  in fiscal year 2014.

The Senate Finance Committee will also review the fiscal note this week as both chambers head into the final two weeks of session.  House Speaker Paul Thissen and Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk have not yet set dates for full floor votes on gay marriage.

 

About Briana Bierschbach

2 comments

  1. There are certainly more options than to simply state that this is what it will cost the State. The premium payments for spousal coverage could be adjusted or coverage eliminated. Many businesses have had to curtail benefits in recent years. Reasonable compensation to governmental employees is certainly important, but it must be reviewed in light of economic changes as it is in the private sector.

  2. Vicki, I must take exception to your logic. What difference to MN would there possibly be if 114 additional straight people got married next year? Their spouses would automatically get access to benefits. You’re rationalizing discrimination.

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