Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 080986
Printable PDF Format Download Adobe Reader  Clerk's Official Copy   

File Number: 080986 File Type: Ordinance Status: Adopted
Version: 0 Reference: 08-61 Control: Board of County Commissioners
File Name: HEALTH INSURANCE FOR DOMESTIC PARTNERS FOR EMPLOYEE Introduced: 4/2/2008
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 5/20/2008
Agenda Date: 5/20/2008 Agenda Item Number: 7A
Notes: Title: ORDINANCE CREATING ARTICLE IX OF CHAPTER 11A OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA; PROVIDING HEALTH INSURANCE ELIGIBILITY AND OTHER BENEFITS TO THE DOMESTIC PARTNERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY EMPLOYEES; PROVIDING FOR THE REGISTRATION OF DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS; ESTABLISHING DOMESTIC PARTNER RIGHTS OF VISITATION; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE [SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 080406]
Indexes: BENEFIT PLAN
  COUNTY EMPLOYEE
  HEALTH INSURANCE
Sponsors: Bruno A. Barreiro, Prime Sponsor
  Audrey M. Edmonson, Co-Sponsor
  Carlos A. Gimenez, Co-Sponsor
  Sally A. Heyman, Co-Sponsor
  Barbara J. Jordan, Co-Sponsor
  Katy Sorenson, Co-Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

Board of County Commissioners 5/20/2008 7A Adopted P
REPORT: County Attorney Robert Cuevas read the foregoing proposed ordinance into the record. Chairman Barreiro relinquished the Chair to Vice-Chairwoman Jordan. It was moved by Commissioner Barreiro that this proposed ordinance be adopted. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Heyman. Commissioner Diaz expressed concern that this proposed resolution did not include everyone in the community and that it would divide one sector of the community against another. He noted this proposed ordinance was reverse discrimination for excluding dependent extended family members of County employees from eligibility for benefits. Commissioner Diaz urged Commissioner Barreiro to amend this proposal to include extended family members. He suggested this proposed ordinance could cause collective bargaining problems if extended families were excluded. He questioned whether the other government bodies that extended health care benefits to domestic partners of employees had self-funded health insurance. He pointed out the County Commission adopted the wage ordinance to meet a need, and a need existed for extended family members dependent on County employees to be eligible for health insurance and other benefits. In response to Commissioner Barreiro’s inquiry regarding the possibility of amending this proposed ordinance as urged by Commissioner Diaz, County Attorney Cuevas advised the proposed amendment would go beyond the scope of the advertised title of this proposed ordinance. Commissioner Barreiro noted Commissioner Diaz’s proposed legislation to provide health insurance benefits to dependent extended family members of County employees was going through the Committee process and the Commission would vote on it when it came before them. He noted he would not accept Commissioner Diaz’s suggested amendment. It was moved by Commissioner Diaz that this proposed ordinance be deferred. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Martinez. Commissioner Seijas expressed concern regarding the unfairness of this proposed ordinance to exclude people in need. She explained the Agenda had proposals that requested funds for many activities, yet funding was the issue preventing the County from including all dependents of County employees in this proposed ordinance. Commissioner Seijas noted everybody deserved to have health insurance. Commissioner Martinez questioned whether this proposed ordinance was about healthcare or money. He noted if this proposed ordinance was about health care it would include everybody. He noted Agenda Item 14A12, Legislative File No. 081556, addressed health care for everyone. Commissioner Sorenson spoke in opposition to the motion to defer. She suggested the Commission adopt a millage rate that would provide the County the funding necessary to provide health care benefits to dependent extended family members of County employees. She noted this proposed ordinance would not endanger Commissioner Diaz’s proposal in the Committee process. She noted the Miami-Dade County Public School Board and Broward County provided evidence that this proposed ordinance would not bankrupt the County. Commissioner Sosa noted the Commission could easily respond to the needs of the entire community. She noted family members who were true dependents should be included in this proposed ordinance. She suggested this proposed ordinance be amended to cover legally claimed dependents. County Attorney Cuevas advised Commissioner Sosa's suggested amendment could not be made within the scope of the title of this proposal. Responding to Commissioner Sosa’s inquiry regarding a legal way to amend this proposed ordinance to include dependent extended family members, County Attorney Cuevas advised titles for proposed ordinances were published to advise the public and this title only included domestic partners. Discussion ensued between Commissioner Diaz and County Attorney Cuevas regarding the possibility of amending the definition of domestic partner in this proposed ordinance to provide coverage of dependent extended family members. Following County Attorney Cuevas’ advice that the most legally defensive way for the County to change its benefits policy was to have this proposed ordinance and Commissioner Diaz’s proposed ordinance adopted at the same meeting, Commissioner Sosa spoke in support of the Commission adopting both proposals. Commissioner Heyman spoke in opposition to deferring this proposed ordinance. She noted this proposed ordinance could help Jackson Memorial Hospital save money. Vice-Chairwoman Jordan spoke in opposition to deferring this proposed ordinance. She pointed out the Commission did not have the information requested on cost effectiveness for Commissioner Diaz’s proposal to ensure the promise to employees to lower premiums was retained. She explained Common Law marriage was no longer accepted and the families who would be legitimate under Common Law did not receive benefits. She suggested everyone had the right to choose who they gave their benefits to and who was most important. Commissioner Barreiro spoke in opposition to deferring this proposed ordinance. He noted Town of Cutler Bay Mayor Paul Vrooman and City of Miami Beach Commissioner Richard Steinberg were present in support of this proposed ordinance. Hearing no other questions or comments regarding the motion to defer this proposed ordinance, the Commission proceeded to vote, and upon being put to a vote, the motion to defer failed by a vote of 5-7 (Commissioners Barreiro, Sorenson, Edmonson, Moss, Gimenez, Heyman, and Vice-Chairwoman Jordan voted “No”; Commissioner Souto was absent). It was moved by Commissioner Barreiro that this proposed ordinance be adopted. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Heyman. Following comments by Commissioners Sorenson and Heyman in support of this proposed ordinance, Commissioner Martinez noted all dependents of County employees should be included. He suggested the focus of the discussion would change to money when the Commission considered the proposal that included benefits for dependent extended family members, and that proposal would not be adopted because the County Administration would recommend against it for financial reasons. In response to Commissioner Seijas’ question whether this proposed ordinance extended benefits to domestic partners and their children, Assistant County Attorney Lee Kraftchick advised this proposed ordinance would cover children of domestic partners. Commissioner Diaz questioned whether the study conducted by the County Administration on the fiscal impact of this proposed ordinance included the coverage for children of domestic partners. Ms. Wendi Norris, Director, General Services Administration (GSA), noted the study included children in its fiscal impact. Responding to Commissioner Diaz’s inquiries regarding how the County Administration conducted its research to determine the fiscal impact, Ms. Norris noted the County Administration did not poll County employees, it used comparisons of other jurisdictions, and it did not consult with the Unions. Commissioner Diaz questioned whether the County Administration considered if the jurisdictions used for comparison were self-insured when the County collected the historical data on the fiscal impact of extending health insurance and other benefits to domestic partners. Ms. Marsha Pascual, Risk Management Director, GSA, noted the County Administration did not ask the jurisdictions whether they were self-insured. However, she noted she was familiar enough with most of them and Palm Beach County was the only jurisdiction evaluated by the County Administration that was self-insured. She noted Palm Beach County had approximately 10,000 employees, it started self-insurance in 2008, and she did not know whether Palm Beach County subsidized insurance premiums for its employees. Commissioner Diaz pointed out comparable historical data did not exist for this proposed ordinance. He noted the County Administration presented an assumption based on other places, and the County had not conducted a study to determine how this proposal would impact this County. Commissioner Diaz expressed concern that the County had bent over backwards on other costly issues, however, the County would not do the same to provide benefits to dependent extended family members. Responding to Commissioner Diaz’s inquiry concerning the Commission making a motion that it considers his proposed ordinance, County Attorney Cuevas advised that motion could not be made since the item was not advertised for second reading on today’s (5/20) Agenda. Commissioner Seijas explained she would vote “No” to this proposed ordinance. She noted she would vote “Yes” to a proposal that applied to everyone who lived at a County employee’s residence. Commissioner Sosa asked that she be listed as a co-sponsor to Commissioner Diaz's proposed ordinance concerning health insurance eligibility and other benefits to the dependents of Miami-Dade County employees (Legislative File No. 080787). Hearing no other questions or comments, the Commission proceeded to vote. Commissioner Diaz asked the County Manager and the General Services Administration Director to ensure all the necessary information was provided on June 11, 2008, for the Economic Development and Human Services (EDHS) Committee to act on the legislation providing health insurance eligibility and other benefits to dependents of County employees (Legislative File No. 080787). Commissioner Sorenson pointed out the information requested by Commissioner Diaz would involve a survey and the other information requested by the EDHS Committee on May 14, 2008. She noted the Commission could decide providing health insurance eligibility and other benefits to dependents of County employees was one of its most important budget considerations and vote to provide the necessary funding in the County budget, but providing that eligibility and those benefits would have to be looked at in context of the other budgetary needs. Responding to Commissioner Sorenson’s comments, Commissioner Diaz questioned why a survey and the other information the EDHS Committee requested for his proposal was not provided for this ordinance. Chairman Barreiro resumed the Chair. He reassured Commissioner Diaz that his proposal would be considered by the County Commission.

Board of County Commissioners 5/6/2008 7A Deferred 5/20/2008 P
REPORT: During consideration of the changes to today’s agenda, the foregoing proposed ordinance was deferred to the March 18th BCC meeting, as requested by Chairman Barreiro.

County Manager 5/2/2008 Deferrals 5/6/2008
REPORT: This item is being deferred at the request of its sponsor.

Economic Development and Human Services Committee 4/16/2008 1E1 SUB Forwarded to BCC with a favorable recommendation P
REPORT: Assistant County Attorney Cynthia Johnson-Stacks read the foregoing proposed ordinance and Agenda Item 1E2 into the record. Hearing no objection, the Committee considered this proposed ordinance and Agenda Item 1E2 simultaneously. Vice Chairwoman Sorenson opened the public hearing and the following persons appeared before the Committee in connection to Agenda Item 1E1 Substitute: Mr. Scott Clark, Risk Medical Officer, Miami-Dade County Public School (MDCPS), informed the Committee of the MDCPS Board domestic partner benefit program. He indicated the School Board had recognized domestic partners as an eligible dependent category since January 1, 2002. He pointed out the School Board has not incurred any additional cost to the School Board health insurance program as a result of having domestic partners as an eligible dependent group. Mr. Clark informed the Committee that the School Board conducted a Request for Proposals (RFP), with the domestic partner definitions and the criteria in the RFP. He stated the Federal Government did not recognize domestic partner benefits, which provides pre-tax benefits through employee deduction. Therefore, the School Board deducted for domestic partner benefits on a post-tax basis. Mr. Jose Pereda, 46 NE 171 Terrace, North Miami Beach, Florida, urged the Committee to allow this ordinance to move forward to the County Commission. The following persons appeared and spoke in support of this proposed ordinance: 1. Ms. Cristina Flores, 1602 Alton Road #518, Miami Beach, Florida; 2. Ms. Elizabeth Schwartz, 560 Lincoln Road, 4th Floor, Miami Beach , Florida, State Planning Attorney for unmarried couples; 3. Mayor Paul Vrooman, Town of Cutler Bay, 10013 SW 223 Lane, Cutler Bay, Florida; 4. Councilman Scott Galvin, City of North Miami, 13506 NE 24 Court, informed the Committee members that the City of North Miami has offered domestic partner benefits for two years and also offered domestic partner contractual benefits for approximately one year for companies that choose to bid on City of North Miami projects. He also noted this benefit has not been a financial determent to the City of North Miami. Mr. Galvin noted the City was ready for the passage of a domestic partner registry but the City was looking for the County Commission’s leadership on this issue. 5. Ms. Annette Taddeo, Taddeo for Congress; 6. Mr. Parmer Heacox, Director, Human Services Coalition, 260 NE 17 Terrace; 7. Mr. Joe Pena, Director of Federal Relations, Miami-Dade College, 300 NE 2 Avenue; 8. Mr. Peter Roulhac, 12970 SW 149 Street, Miami, Florida; 9. Mr. Mario Artecona, Vice Chairman for the Community Relations Board, 150 West Flagler Street, Suite 1820; 10. Mr. Antonio Eiroc, American Federal, State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) 1542, 4349 NW 36 Street, Miami Spring, Florida; County Commission Chairman Bruno Barreiro spoke in support and explained the intent of the foregoing ordinance. 11. Mr. Hal Marshall, 1292 NE 94 Street, Miami, Florida; 12. Mr. Santiago Leon, 11600 SW 69 Avenue, Miami, Florida; 13. Ms. Heddy Pena, SAVE, 5541 SW 64 Place, Miami, Florida; 14. Mr. Dan McCrea, President, Florida Voters Coalition, and a former City of South Miami Commissioner, 6200 SW 63 Court, South Miami, Florida; 15. Mr. Jay Staley, President, AFSCME 121, 11560 SW 81 Terrace, Miami, Florida; 16. Mr. Stratton Pollitzer, 739 NE 121 Street, North Miami, Florida; 17. Mr. Ramiro Inguanzo, Chief of Staff and Director of Human Resources, City of Miami Beach, 1700 Convention Center Drive, Miami Beach, Florida; 18. Mr. Brad Brown, 11266 SW 166 Terrace, informed the Committee the Florida State Conference of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) who supported domestic partnerships; 19. Mr. Michael De Cossio, a Miami Dade County employee, 7819 NW 166 Terrace, Miami Lakes, Florida; 20. Mr. Mark Shrader, 13105 Ixora Court #218, North Miami, Florida; 21. Mr. Hiram Ruiz, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), 3950 NW 2 Terrace; The following persons appeared and spoke in opposition to this proposed ordinance: 1. Mr. Nathaniel J. Wilcox, Minister at Apostolic Revival Center, 3111 NW 135 Street, Miami, Florida; 2. Mr. Antonio Verdugo, 10005 SW 28 Street, Miami, Florida; 3. Ms. Teresita Miglio, 310 SW 67 Court, Miami, Florida; 4. Mr. Eladio Jose Armesto, U.S. Hispanic Publishers Federation, Post Office Box 350002, Miami, Florida; 5. Mr. Humberto Vidal, Catholic Cultural Fund, 1393 SW 1 Street, Miami, Florida 33135. Vice Chairwoman Sorenson closed the public hearing for Agenda Item 1E1 Substitute and proceeded to open the public hearing for Agenda Item 1E2, Legislative File No. 080787. The following persons appeared in support of Agenda Item 1E2, Legislative File 080787: 1. Ms. Leona Perminta; 2. Mr. Antonio Verdugo, 10005 SW 28 Street, Miami, Florida; 3. Mr. Nathaniel J. Wilcox, Minister of Apostolic Revival Center, 3111 NW 135 Street; 4. Mr. Eladio Jose Armesto, U.S. Hispanic Publishers Federation, Post Office Box 350002, Miamj, Florida 33135; 5. Mr. Jose Pereda, 46 NE 171 Terrace, North Miami Beach, Florida; 6. Ms. Heddy Pena, 5541 SW 64 Place, Miami, Florida; 7. Ms. Teresita Miglio, 310 SW 67 Court, Miami, Florida; 8. Ms. Elizabeth Schwartz, 560 Lincoln Road, 4th Floor, Miami Beach , Florida, State Planning Attorney for unmarried couples; 9. Mr. Santiago Leon, 11600 SW 69 Avenue, Miami, Florida; 10. Mr. Humberto Vidal, 1393 SW 1 Street, Miami, Florida; 11. Ms. Barbara Meredith (phonetic), 17170 SW 103 Court Circle. The following spoke in opposition to Agenda Item 1E2: Ms. Vanessa Brito, 840 NW 133 Avenue. Hearing no one else wishing to speak before the Committee, Vice Chairwoman Sorenson closed the public hearing on Agenda Item 1E2. Assistant County Attorney Johnson-Stacks read, into the record, Commissioner Diaz’ memorandum dated April 16, 2008, entitled, “Item 1E2,,” which requested the Committee’s support in forwarding this item to the County Commission . Commissioner Souto expressed concern with the fiscal impact statement and requested deferral of this proposed ordinance until staff provides further information on associated factors on this issue, such as Florida Statutes. Responding to Commissioner Jordan’s request for a clarification to ensure that the County was not violating any Florida State laws, Assistant County Attorney Lee Kraftchick informed the Committee members of the Florida law pertaining to the Defensive Marriage Act in which the Florida legislature prohibited this sort of legislation. He stated this legislation did not offer to create a marriage or a substitute for marriage and this proposed ordinance included language to specifically address the marriage question. Mr. Kraftchick pointed out this proposed ordinance shall not be construed to supersede any federal, state and county laws or regulations, nor shall this ordinance be interpreted in a manner as to bring it into conflict with federal, state, or other county laws. Therefore, nothing in this ordinance shall be construed as recognizing or treating domestic partnership as a marriage, as outlined in this proposal. Responding to Commissioner Jordan’s request to Assistant County Attorney Kraftchick to advise the Committee if the Florida Statutes recognized what was formerly known as common law marriage, Mr. Kraftchick advised as of 1968, the Florida Statutes stated that no common law marriage entered into after that date shall be valid. Therefore, common law marriages were not valid in Florida. Responding to Commissioner Moss’ question regarding the basis for staff indicating this proposal would have no significant fiscal impact, Ms. Wendi Norris, Director, Miami-Dade County General Services Administration (GSA) provided an overview of the fiscal impact statement regarding providing health insurance eligibility and other benefits to the dependent relatives and household dependents of Miami-Dade County employees. She noted no employer could be found that had experience with Agenda Item 1E2. Responding to Commissioner Moss’ comments regarding other municipal governments who had similar health insurance eligibility and other benefits to domestic partners and/or dependent relatives, Assistant County Attorney Kraftchick informed the Committee members the proposal in Agenda Item 1E1 was modeled after Broward County and the City of Miami Beach and other areas, such as Tampa and Saint Petersburg. He noted, to his knowledge, no successful challenge to those models existed. Mr. Kraftchick further noted no published opinion on this issue was made. Board of County Commissioners Chairman Bruno A. Barreiro stated Broward County’s program was established in 1999 and the City of Miami Beach’s program was in 2000. Vice Chairwoman Sorenson spoke in support of Agenda Item 1E1 Substitute. It was moved by Commissioner Jordan that the foregoing proposed ordinance be adopted as presented. Commissioner Souto presented a motion for deferral of the foregoing proposed ordinance, and this motion died due to lack of a second. A discussion ensued between Commissioner Souto and Ms. Norris regarding the 1 to 3% of approximately 30,000 County employees who may apply for this type of health insurance coverage. Ms. Norris provided an overview of the Fiscal Impact Statement included in Agenda Item 1E1 Substitute. Responding to Commissioner Moss’ inquiry regarding the cost factor for dependent benefit coverage, Ms. Marsha Pascual, Risk Management, GSA, explained employees would continue to pay the full dependent premium charged by the County. Therefore, using that cost savings to subside those dependent premiums. The Committee proceeded to vote on the foregoing proposed ordinance, Agenda Item 1E1 Substitute as presented. Responding to Vice Chairwoman Sorenson’s inquiry regarding the date the County Commission would consider this item, Chairman Barreiro noted he had not set the meeting date for the County Commission to consider this item. Commissioner Moss recommended Agenda Item 1E2 be deferred to allow the sponsor to present the item to the Committee. He noted his need for more information on this proposal as recommended by the County Administration to determine the fiscal impact. The Committee proceeded to vote to defer Agenda item 1E2.

County Attorney 4/2/2008 Referred Economic Development and Human Services Committee 4/16/2008

County Attorney 4/2/2008 Assigned Lee Kraftchick 4/2/2008

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE CREATING ARTICLE IX OF CHAPTER 11A OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA; PROVIDING HEALTH INSURANCE ELIGIBILITY AND OTHER BENEFITS TO THE DOMESTIC PARTNERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY EMPLOYEES; PROVIDING FOR THE REGISTRATION OF DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIPS; ESTABLISHING DOMESTIC PARTNER RIGHTS OF VISITATION; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

BODY
BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. The Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to create the following new sections to Chapter 11A:
ARTICLE IX DOMESTIC PARTNERS AND FAMILY HEALTH COVERAGE

Sec. 11A-70. Legislative Findings and Purpose

(a) The Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners finds that a significant number of Miami-Dade residents establish and maintain important personal, emotional, and economic relationships with persons to whom they are not married. Individuals forming such domestic partnerships often live in a committed family relationship. Domestic partners may be denied the right to visit each other or their children or parents when hospitalized or incarcerated for lack of a system that establishes rights of visitation in such circumstances. Also, partners in domestic relationships may be denied public and private sector benefits because there is no established system for such relationships to be registered or recognized. In addition, because of the status of their relationship, domestic partners in many cases are not extended certain employment benefits that are otherwise made available to other employees.

(b) The Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners finds that employment benefits form an essential portion of the compensation provided to County employees.

(c) The Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners acknowledges that in 1994 over 3 million Americans identified themselves as living in a domestic partnership. As a result, employers have begun to provide domestic partner benefits in greater numbers.

(d) The Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners finds that the provision of domestic partner benefits promotes employee recruitment, employee retention, and employee loyalty. Furthermore, the provision of such benefits promotes fairness and serves to address the discriminatory effect of practices which deny such benefits solely upon the basis of an employee's familial or marital status.

(e) The rules developed to implement the provisions of this ordinance shall be liberally construed to accomplish the policies and purposes of the ordinance. However, this ordinance shall not be construed to supersede any federal, state, or county laws or regulations, nor shall this ordinance be interpreted in a manner as to bring it into conflict with federal, state, or other county laws. Nothing in this ordinance shall be construed as recognizing or treating a domestic partnership as a marriage.

Sec. 11A-71. Definitions.

For purposes of this Act:

(a) County employee means any employee of Miami-Dade County, including employees of the Miami-Dade Public Health Trust and all other agencies and instrumentalities of the County.

(b) Domestic Partners means only two adults who are parties to a valid domestic partnership relationship and who meet the requisites for a valid domestic partnership relationship as established pursuant to section 11A-72.

(c) Declaration of Domestic Partnership means a sworn form under penalty of perjury, which certifies that two domestic partners meet the requirements of a domestic partnership relationship as described in section 11A-72.

(d) Jointly Responsible means each domestic partner mutually agrees to provide for the other partner's basic food and shelter living expenses while the domestic partnership relationship is in effect, except that partners need not contribute equally or jointly to said basic food and shelter.

(e) Health Care Facility means any hospital, convalescent facility, walk-in clinic, doctor's office, mental health care facility and any other short- or long-term health care facility located within Miami-Dade County.

Sec. 11A-72. Registration of Domestic Partnerships.

(a) A valid domestic partnership relationship may be registered by any two persons by filing a declaration of domestic partnership with the Miami-Dade County Consumer Services Department, which declaration shall comply with all requirements set forth in this ordinance for establishing such domestic partnership. Upon payment of any required fees, the Consumer Services Department shall file the declaration of domestic partnership and issue a certificate reflecting the registration of the domestic partnership relationship in Miami-Dade County.

(b) A declaration of domestic partnership shall contain the name and address of each domestic partner, the signature of each partner, and each partner shall swear or affirm under penalty of perjury that

(1) Each person is at least 18 years old and competent to contract;

(2) Neither person is married under Florida law, a partner to another domestic partnership relationship or a member of another civil union;

(3) They are not related by blood;

(4) Each person considers himself or herself to be a member of the immediate family of the other partner and to be jointly responsible for maintaining and supporting the Registered Domestic Partnership.

(5) Each person agrees to immediately notify the Consumer Services Department, in writing, if the terms of the Registered Domestic Partnership are no longer applicable or one of the domestic partners wishes to terminate the domestic partnership.

(6) The partners reside in the same primary residence.

(c) Any partner to a domestic partnership may file an amendment to the domestic partnership certificate issued by the Consumer Services Department to reflect a change in his or her legal name or address, or to add or delete children.


Sec. 11A-73. Termination of registered domestic partnership
relationship.

(a) Either partner to a registered domestic partnership relationship may terminate such relationship by filing a notarized declaration of termination of domestic partnership relationship with the Consumer Services Department. Upon the payment of the required fee, the Consumer Services Department shall file the declaration and issue a certificate of termination of domestic partnership relationship to each partner of the former relationship. The termination shall become effective 30 days from the date the certificate of termination is issued.

(b) If any partner to a domestic partnership relationship enters into a legal marriage, the domestic partnership relationship shall terminate automatically, and all rights, benefits, and entitlements there under shall cease as of the effective date of the marriage. The marrying domestic partner shall file a declaration terminating the domestic partnership relationship within 10 days after entering into a legal marriage.

(c) The death of either domestic partner shall automatically terminate the domestic partner relationship.

(d) If either member of the domestic partnership ceases to be responsible for the other's basic food and shelter, the domestic partnership shall be considered terminated.

Sec. 11A-74. Maintenance of records; filing fees.

(a) The Miami-Dade County Mayor shall by administrative rule prescribe the form of all declarations, amendments, and certificates required to be filed under this act. The Consumer Services Department shall maintain a record of all declarations, amendments, and certificates filed pursuant to this ordinance.

(b) Filing Fees. The Mayor is authorized to establish fees for the filing of any declarations, amendments, and the issuance of any certificates required by this act, subject to the approval of the County Commission. The fees shall be included within a Miami-Dade County Administrative Order. Any fees established under this section shall be commensurate with the actual costs of administering the provisions of this ordinance.

(c) The Mayor is authorized and directed to take all actions necessary to implement the provisions of this section within ninety (90) days after this ordinance is enacted.


Sec. 11A-75. Extension of benefits to domestic partners
of County employees.

(a) Any County employee who is a party to a registered domestic partnership relationship under this ordinance shall be entitled to elect insurance coverage for his or her domestic partner or the children of such domestic partner on the same basis in which any County employee may elect insurance coverage for his or her spouse or children. A County employee's right to elect insurance coverage for his or her domestic partner, or the partner's children, shall extend to all forms of insurance provided by the County to the spouses and children of County employees, unless such coverage is prohibited by state or federal law or the terms of a collective bargaining agreement. All elections of coverage shall be made in accordance with the requirements of applicable county ordinances, administrative rules, county policies and applicable collective bargaining agreements. However, in no event shall an employee make an election for coverage of a domestic partner more than two times in a plan year.

(b) Any County employee who is a party to a registered domestic partnership relationship under this ordinance shall be entitled to use all forms of leave provided by the County including, but not limited to, sick leave, annual leave, funeral leave and family leave to care for his or her domestic partner or the children or parents of the domestic partner as applicable. The use of leave authorized in this section shall be consistent with the applicable requirements in county ordinances, administrative rules, and collective bargaining agreements.

(c) Unless prohibited by state or federal law or the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, all other benefits available to the spouses and children of County employees shall be made available on the same basis to the domestic partner, or child of such domestic partner, of a County employee who is a party to a registered domestic partnership relationship pursuant to this ordinance.

(d) Any County employee who obtains or attempts to obtain benefits under this provision fraudulently shall be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.

(e) The Mayor is authorized and directed to take all actions necessary to implement the provisions of this section within ninety (90) days after this ordinance is enacted.


Sec. 11A-76. Health care facility visitation rights.

Whenever a domestic partner is a patient in a health care facility in Miami-Dade County, the health care facility shall afford:

(a) the domestic partner of the patient the same right to visit the patient as the facility would provide to the spouse of a patient;

(b) the parent of the domestic partner of the patient the same right to visit the patient as the facility would provide to the parent of a spouse of a patient.

(c) the children of a domestic partner of the patient the same right to visit the patient as the facility would provide to the children of a spouse of a patient.

Sec. 11A-77. Visitation rights at county correctional and juvenile detention facilities.

(a) Any person who is a party to a registered domestic partnership relationship, pursuant to section 11A-72, shall be entitled to visit his or her domestic partner, or other family member of the domestic partner, who is an inmate at a county correctional facility or a juvenile detention facility, upon the same terms and conditions under which visitation is afforded to spouses, children, or parents of inmates. Visitation rights provided by this section shall extend to any children of the domestic partners, and the domestic partners of an inmate's parents or children.

(b) In any situation providing for mandatory or permissible notification of family members of inmates, including notification of family members in an emergency, or when permission is granted to inmates to contact family members, "notification of family" shall include domestic partners.

Sec. 11A-78. Recognition of domestic partnerships, civil unions and similar legal relationships registered in other jurisdictions

All rights, privileges and benefits provided to domestic partners registered under this ordinance shall be extended to persons legally registered as domestic partners, partners in a civil union, or partners in any similar relationship that is recognized as legal in another country or in another jurisdiction within the United States.

Sec. 11A-79. Enforcement

County employees who believe the County has violated any right established by this ordinance shall have the right to file a complaint with the Office of Fair Employment Practices in accordance with section 11A-37 and the rules promulgated by that Office. The terms of this ordinance may be enforced by persons other than County employees, and by County employees against private businesses, through the filing of a private action in any court of competent jurisdiction for declaratory or injunctive relief or both.


Section 2. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or provision of this ordinance is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected by such invalidity.
Section 3. It is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance, including any sunset provision, shall become and be made a part of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The sections of this ordinance may be renumbered or relettered to accomplish such intention, and the word "ordinance" may be changed to "section," "article," or other appropriate word.
Section 4. This ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after the date of enactment unless vetoed by the Mayor, and if vetoed, shall become effective only upon an override by this Board.



Home  |   Agendas  |   Minutes  |   Legislative Search  |   Lobbyist Registration  |   Legislative Reports
2014 BCC Meeting Calendar  |   Miami-Dade County Code of Ordinances   |   ADA Notice  |  

Home  |  Using Our Site  |  About Phone Directory  |  Privacy  |  Disclaimer

E-mail your comments, questions and suggestions to Webmaster  

Web Site 2014 Miami-Dade County.
All rights reserved.