TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Toledo Mayor Mike Bell vetoed legislation for domestic partner benefits Wednesday.
As introduced by the Bell administration, the legislation would have provided health, hospitalization, dental and vision benefits to the domestic partners of employees in the city's health care plan. The amended legislation, passed by City Council, violates Toledo's City Charter, according to the Bell administration, obscuring the separation of executive and legislative powers by requiring the mayor to reopen contract negotiations with a bargaining unit unaffected by the legislation.
According to the Bell administration, Council has no authority under Toledo's Charter or the Ohio Revised Code to negotiate or require the mayor to negotiate contracts, because they are powers of administrative management delegated to the executive branch of government.
Before the legislation was passed at Tuesday's meeting, City Council members were advised by the city's director of law that the proposed amendment was a violation of Charter Section 30. The legal opinion was ultimately disregarded and the legislation was amended, resulting in a policy that was impossible to enforce within the confines of the law said the Bell administration.
Bell will reintroduce legislation to provide health, hospitalization, dental and vision benefits to the domestic partners of employees in the city's health care plan at the June 12 agenda review meeting.