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OR's New Domestic Partnerships: Big Changes, Little Impact on Budget

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 By Chris ThomasContact
February 5, 2008

Portland, OR – Same-sex couples lined up at courthouses around the state on Monday to be among the first to sign up for Oregon's new Domestic Partnerships. Despite all the controversy that led up to passage of the law, its implementation should have minimal effects on the state budget, according to the Williams Institute at the U.C.L.A. Law School. It has studied the fiscal impact of domestic partnerships in other states, as well as predicting the effects in Oregon. Research author Lee Badgett says the state may provide a few more services, but will also get more state income tax revenue.

"All of our research suggests that when you add up the pluses and add up the minuses, they pretty much balance each other out and usually there should be a positive effect. There aren't any states who have found otherwise."

Badgett predicts at first, only about half of Oregon's same-sex couples will register, and those who do are taking legal responsibility for each other.

"These couples will now have the legal protections that will solidify the fact that they're families and that they want to be treated as a family would be."

Badgett says the research predicts an additional $1.5 million to $4 million added into the Oregon economy from domestic partnerships. U.S. Census Bureau data indicates there are between 9,000 and 11,000 same-sex couples living in Oregon.

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