ST. LOUIS, Mo. — A possible piece of legislation could bring major changes to the St. Louis LGBT community, namely domestic partnership benefits for city firefighters.
The Mayor’s Office said it will propose legislation to the Board of Aldermen to change from a state firemen’s retirement system, to that of a city firemen’s retirement system.
Under the current set up, the city must get permission from the state before making changes to the retirement system. Under the new configuration, the City will not need state permission for any changes made.
The city itself is the sponsor for the legislation, which will allow a plan consistent with its values. Because of this, Mayor Francis Slay is proposing the legislation recognizing domestic partnerships.
Specifically, the legislation adds “domestic partner” to the definition of widow or widower. What this means is that a qualified domestic partner of a firefighter will be eligible to get a pension if his or her partner dies in the line of duty.
If passed, the proposed legislation would read:
“A surviving domestic partner means a person validly registered with the City as a domestic partner with the Participant in accordance with St. Louis City Ordinance 64401 throughout both the one-year period ending at the time benefit payments to the Participant from this Plan commenced and the one-year period ending at the death of the Participant, and with respect to whom it is substantiated in writing that such person and the Participant satisfied as least two of the following indicia of economic interdependence:
- Joint ownership of real property or a common leasehold interest in real property;
- Common ownership of an automobile;
- An open joint bank account or credit account;
- A will designating the such person as the primary beneficiary;
- A current designation of the other as primary beneficiary for life insurance or retirement benefits;
- A current designation of the other as durable power of attorney or health care power of attorney; and,
- A driver’s licenses listing a common address.