H.R. 2517 (111th): Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009

Introduced:
May 20, 2009 (111th Congress, 2009–2010)
Status:
Died (Reported by Committee)
See Instead:

S. 1102 (same title)
Reported by Committee — Dec 16, 2009

Sponsor
Tammy Baldwin
Representative for Wisconsin's 2nd congressional district
Party
Democrat
Text
Read Text »
Last Updated
May 20, 2009
Length
82 pages
Related Bills
H.R. 4838 (110th) was a previous version of this bill.

Referred to Committee
Last Action: Dec 19, 2007

H.R. 3485 (112th) was a re-introduction of this bill in a later Congress.

Referred to Committee
Last Action: Nov 18, 2011

 
Status

This bill was introduced on November 18, 2009, in a previous session of Congress, but was not enacted.

Progress
Introduced May 20, 2009
Referred to Committee May 20, 2009
Reported by Committee Nov 18, 2009
 
Full Title

To provide certain benefits to domestic partners of Federal employees.

Summary

No summaries available.

Cosponsors
140 cosponsors (139D, 1R) (show)
Committees

House House Administration

House Oversight and Government Reform

Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service, and the Census

House Judiciary

The Constitution and Civil Justice

The committee chair determines whether a bill will move past the committee stage.

 
Primary Source

THOMAS.gov (The Library of Congress)

GovTrack gets most information from THOMAS, which is updated generally one day after events occur. Activity since the last update may not be reflected here. Data comes via the congress project.

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Notes

H.R. stands for House of Representatives bill.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the president to become law.

The bill’s title was written by its sponsor.

GovTrack’s Bill Summary

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Library of Congress Summary

The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.


1/22/2010--Reported to House amended, Part I.
Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009 - Extends specified federal employee benefits to domestic partners of federal employees.
Title I - Domestic Partnerships
Section 101 -
Amends federal civil service law to provide that, in order to establish a domestic partnership with an individual for purposes of receiving federal employment benefits, an employee, former employee, or annuitant (employee) must file an affidavit attesting that:
(1) both individuals are members of the same sex, at least age 18, and competent to contract;
(2) the filing employee has notified the other individual of the filing of the affidavit attesting that their partnership satisfies the requirements of this section;
(3) such individuals are in a domestic partnership with one another and intend to remain so indefinitely;
(4) such individuals have a common residence or that such individuals do not have a common residence because of financial, employment-related, or other reasons identified in the affidavit;
(5) neither individual is married to or in a domestic partnership with anyone outside the domestic partnership;
(6) the two individuals share responsibility for a significant measure of each other's common welfare and financial obligations and are not related in any way that would prohibit legal marriage in the jurisdiction in which either individual resides if they were of the opposite sex; and
(7) the employee understands that willful falsification of information set forth in the affidavit or failure to provide appropriate notification of the termination of the domestic partnership may lead to the recovery of amounts obtained as a result of such falsification or failure, criminal or other penalties, and (in appropriate cases) disciplinary action.
Prohibits any individual from using or having access to information obtained under this title for any purpose other than the administration of law to which this title applies.
Title II - Civil Service Retirement System
Section 201 -
Defines "former domestic partner" for purposes of Civil Service Retirement System provisions to mean a former domestic partner of an individual if: (1) such individual performed at least 18 months of civilian service as an employee or Member; and (2) the former domestic partner was in a domestic partnership with such individual for at least nine months.
Section 202 -
Requires the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to prescribe regulations to provide that domestic partners and former domestic partners shall be considered as spouses or former spouses for purposes of creditable service determinations and related payments.
Section 203 -
Requires that a domestic partner, former domestic partner, or surviving partner be considered as a spouse, former spouse, or surviving spouse for purposes of the election, computation, and termination of, or entitlement to, a survivor annuity.
Section 204 -
Makes a surviving partner or former domestic partner eligible for a cost-of-living adjustment for an annuity.
Section 205 -
Sets forth definitions of "surviving partner" and "former domestic partner" for purposes of provisions governing survivor annuities.
Requires:
(1) OPM to prescribe regulations for the treatment of children of a domestic partner in a manner consistent with the rules for stepchildren; and
(2) a domestic partner, former domestic partner, surviving partner, or surviving domestic partner to be considered for purposes of entitlement to and computation, commencement, termination, and restoration of a survivor annuity in a manner consistent with existing provisions regarding such annuities
Section 206 -
Adds "surviving partner" as the primary beneficiary for any payable lump-sum benefits in the event the employee or Member has not designated a different beneficiary or beneficiaries. Requires a domestic partner or former domestic partner to be notified or to consent to any payment in a manner consistent with existing provisions.
Section 207 -
Applies provisions governing alternative forms of annuity benefits available for any employee or Member who has a life-threatening affliction or other critical medical condition at the time of retiring to individuals in domestic partnerships.
Section 208 -
Requires the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) to collect deposits made by domestic partners and former domestic partners in a manner consistent with existing provisions.
Section 209 -
Provides for notifications of a domestic partner or former domestic partner under the Thrift Savings Plan.
Title III - Federal Employees' Retirement System
Section 301 -
Defines "former domestic partner" to mean a former domestic partner of an individual if: (1) such individual performed at least 18 months of civilian service as an employee or Member; and (2) the former domestic partner was in a domestic partnership with such individual for at least nine months.
Section 302 -
Requires OPM to provide that domestic partners and former domestic partners be considered as spouses or former spouses for purposes of creditable service determinations and payments.
Section 303 -
Requires that a domestic partner, former domestic partner, or surviving domestic partner be considered as a spouse, former spouse, or surviving spouse for purposes of entitlement to, or reduction of, a survivor annuity.
Section 304 -
Requires that a former domestic partner be considered as a former spouse for purposes of: (1) entitlement to a survivor annuity and a corresponding election and reduction to an employee or Member's annuity; and (2) any reduction in an annuity in a manner consistent with existing provisions.
Section 306 -
Requires that a domestic partner or former domestic partner be considered as a spouse or former spouse for purposes of a reduction in an annuity or a termination of any such reduction in a manner consistent with existing provisions.
Section 307 -
Requires that a domestic partner be considered as a spouse for purposes of the availability of an insurable interest reduction to an annuity.
Section 308 -
Requires a domestic partner, surviving domestic partner, or former domestic partner to be considered for purposes of the availability of an alternative form of annuity.
Section 309 -
Directs that a domestic partner or former domestic partner be considered as a spouse or former spouse for purposes of notification regarding a payable lump-sum benefit in a manner consistent with existing provisions. Requires any such benefit to be payable to a surviving partner in the event there is no beneficiary designated by the employee or Member.
Section 310 -
Requires a domestic partner or former domestic partner to be considered as a spouse or former spouse for purposes of payment of an annuity.
Section 311 -
Requires that domestic partners, former domestic partners, and surviving domestic partners be considered as spouses, former spouses, or surviving spouses for purposes of notification and other protections regarding withdrawals and elections by an employee or Member and for purposes of entitlement to and calculation of a survivor annuity.
Section 312 -
Directs that domestic partners of justices or judges be considered as spouses for purposes of rights relating to contributions to the Thrift Savings Fund.
Section 313 -
Defines "surviving partner" for purposes of Federal Employees' Retirement System provisions. Requires OPM to prescribe regulations for the treatment of children of a domestic partner in a manner consistent with the rules for stepchildren.
Section 314 -
Requires that domestic partners or surviving partners be considered as spouses and surviving spouses for purposes of entitlement to and computation, commencement, termination, and payment of a survivor annuity or lump sum credit in a manner consistent with existing provisions.
Section 315 -
Requires former domestic partners to be considered as former spouses for purposes of entitlement to and calculation, commencement, and termination of an annuity.
Section 316 -
Requires the DCI to collect deposits made by domestic partners and former domestic partners in a manner consistent with existing provisions.
Section 317 -
Requires that surviving partners be considered as surviving spouses for purposes of annuity cost-of-living increases.
Section 318 -
Provides that a party of interest includes a domestic partner or domestic partner of a lineal descendant for purposes of provisions regarding fiduciary responsibilities, liability, and penalties.
Title IV - Insurance Benefits
Section 401 -
Provides that a family member of an eligible individual includes a domestic partner, for purposes of federal employee life insurance benefits provisions. Requires that children of a domestic partner be treated as stepchildren. Requires a claim to be paid to a surviving domestic partner in the event an employee has not designated a different beneficiary. Requires a domestic partner to be considered as a spouse for purposes of optional life insurance plans.
Section 402 -
Amends the definition of "family member" to include the domestic partner of an eligible enrollee for purposes of federal employee health insurance provisions (which allows a domestic partner of an employee, former employee, or annuitant to be enrolled in a Federal Employee Health Benefits plan under family coverage).
Defines "former domestic partner" for such purposes.
Requires that children of a domestic partner be treated as stepchildren.
Adds "former domestic partner" to a list of individuals who must be covered by a plan in order for that plan to contract with OPM.
Entitles a former domestic partner to direct access to care and to have payment or reimbursement in a manner consistent with existing provisions concerning a spouse. Provides that a former domestic partner may be considered as a former spouse for purposes of provisions governing debarment or other sanctions imposed on a carrier.
Authorizes OPM to contract for a service benefit plan that includes former domestic partners. Requires OPM to prescribe regulations to ensure parity of treatment in the election of health coverage to: (1) former spouses and former domestic partners; and (2) children of a marriage that has been dissolved and the children of a domestic partnership that has been terminated.
Makes a surviving domestic partner eligible to re-enroll in a health benefits plan under conditions consistent with existing provisions. Provides that domestic partners and former domestic partners be considered as spouses and former spouses for purposes of regulations issued by OPM regarding the beginning and ending dates of coverage under a health benefit plan.
Section 403 -
Allows a domestic partner who is eligible to enroll in a federal employee dental or vision benefits plan both as an individual and as a family member to enroll as an employee, annuitant, or other eligible individual or as a family member, but not both. Makes a surviving domestic partner eligible to continue enrollment.
Section 405 -
Makes a domestic partner a qualified relative for purposes of eligibility to obtain federal employee long-term care insurance coverage.
Title V - Travel, Transportation, and Subsistence
Section 501 -
Grants the head of an agency authority to reimburse an employee for taxes incurred by an employee's domestic partner (where joint filing by the employee and a domestic partner is allowable) for: (1) travel or transportation reimbursement received; and (2) moving or storage expenses for which reimbursement is provided.
Section 502 -
Grants an agency authority to pay the transportation expenses of the employee's domestic partner: (1) when the employee is transferred in the interest of the government; and (2) to seek a new residence at the employee's assignment location if the employee is assigned from the employee's official station to a duty station for a period of not less than 6 months and not greater than 30 months.
Title VI - Compensation for Work Injuries
Section 601 -
Modifies the definition of "children" to include children and adopted children of a domestic partner, and defines "domestic partner" and "surviving partner," for purposes of federal employees' workers' compensation provisions.
Section 602 -
Requires a death gratuity to be paid to the surviving partner of an employee who dies in connection with the employee's service with an armed force in a contingency operation. Provides that the children of a domestic partner may also be considered for purposes of the death gratuity.
Section 603 -
Modifies the order of precedence to account for the surviving partner of an individual for purposes of any unpaid compensation at the time of death of an individual.
Section 604 -
Adds "domestic partner" to the definition of "dependent" for purposes of augmented compensation.
Section 605 -
Limits a domestic partner of an employee to exclusive remedies provided in the case of the death or injury of the employee if: (1) he or she is a member of the same household as the employee; (2) he or she is receiving regular contributions from the employee for his or her support; or (3) the employee has been ordered by a court to contribute to his or her support.
Section 606 -
Modifies the order of precedence to account for the surviving partner of an individual for purposes of any compensation payable upon the death of an employee if the death results from an injury sustained in the performance of duty.
Section 607 -
Requires a surviving partner to be considered as a surviving spouse for purposes of a lump sum payment.
Section 608 -
Grants the Secretary of Labor authority to issue regulations to carry out this title. Requires the Secretary to consult with the Director of OPM and the heads of other affected agencies to standardize the process for establishing the existence of a domestic partnership.
Section 609 -
Makes this title generally effective on enactment of this Act and applicable to any injury or death occurring before, on, or after that date. Makes compensation payable, retroactive to the date of enactment, only with respect to any period commencing on or after the date of enactment. Provides that no recovery shall be made of compensation paid to an individual whose entitlement to compensation is terminated or reduced as a result of this title's enactment.
Title VII - Provisions Relating to Employment of Relatives and Other Matters
Section 701 -
Adds "domestic partner" to the list of relatives that full under restrictions on federal employment of relatives and related prohibitions.
Section 702 -
Provides that a surviving partner shall be considered as a surviving spouse for purposes of the order of precedence with respect to settlement of accounts of deceased federal employees.
Section 703 -
Requires regulations regarding benefits for captives to ensure that a domestic partner is afforded the same status as a spouse.
Section 704 -
Requires that regulations regarding compensation for disability or death ensure parity of treatment between a domestic partner and a spouse.
Section 705 -
Includes a biological, adopted, or foster child of a domestic partner as a "son or daughter" for purposes of federal employee family and medical leave provisions. Allows an employee a total of 12 administrative workweeks of leave during any 12-month period to care for a domestic partner.
Title VIII - Additional Provisions
Section 801 -
Requires the President to prescribe regulations necessary to ensure that specified provisions relating to the following are administered in a manner consistent with the purposes of this Act:
(1) the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993;
(2) travel, transportation, and related payments and benefits under the Foreign Service Act of 1980 and for civilian employees of the Department of Defense (DOD);
(3) certain benefits for members of the commissioned officer corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); and
(4) benefits related to federal employees or annuitants and benefits necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act.
Title IX - Amendment to the Ethics in Government Act of 1978
Section 901 -
Amends the Ethics in Government Act of 1978 to make an employee, former employee, or annuitant and the domestic partner of such employee, former employee, or annuitantsubject to specified legal provisions to the same extent as a married employee and his or her spouse, including provisions relating to financial disclosure requirements of federal personnel, government-wide limitations on outside earned income and employment, regulations for the conduct of executive branch employees, gifts to superiors and to federal employees, bribery, acceptance of travel expenses from nonfederal sources, taxes on self-dealing, and disqualification of a justice, judge, or magistrate judge.
Title X - Reporting Requirements
Section 1001 -
Directs the President to transmit to specified congressional committees a report on this Act's implementation and a a description of any further measures that should be taken to carry out this Act, including recommended legislative or administrative action.
Section 1002 -
Requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to report to such committees on: (1) the effects of this Act on premiums or other periodic charges under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program; and (2) the impact of extending benefits to domestic partners on federal employee retention and recruitment efforts.

House Republican Conference Summary

The summary below was written by the House Republican Conference, which is the caucus of Republicans in the House of Representatives.


No summary available.

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