The city of Springfield has decided to grant benefits to the spouses of its employees in civil unions, after the law has been on the books for more than a year.
The city initially voted against granting the benefits, citing higher costs to the tune of $725,000. That decision was met with backlash from gay rights advocates who argued that the move watered down the civil unions law. A later projection showed that the additional costs associated with granting civil union spousal benefits was a substantially smaller $66,000. At this point, no Springfield worker has applied for the extended benefits.
The benefits will be available to Springfield employee civil union spouses on March 1 of this year.