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February 24, 2009 10:44 AM

Beneficiaries bill passes to Senate

House members gave final approval to a measure this morning that would make it easier for unmarried couples to list each other as beneficiaries on legal documents.

The vote was 41-24.

House Bill 1260 by Rep. Mark Ferrandino, D-Denver, refers to receipt of workers' compensation benefits and the ability to visit each other in the hospital, among other things. It pertains to both same-sex and heterosexual couples.

Ferrandino said the bill is necessary to help cut costs for people in hard financial times. Critics have called it a back-door way to enact the benefits of civil unions, a concept that voters rejected in 2006.

Five Republicans joined Democrats in supporting the bill: Cheri Gerou of Evergreen, Don Marostica of Loveland, Tom Massey of Poncha Springs, Kevin Priola of Henderson and Ellen Roberts of Durango.

Two Democrats joined with Republicans in opposing the measure: Wes McKinley of Walsh and John Soper of Thornton.

HB1260 now moves to the Senate.

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