With only 14 more days to go until the end of the legislative session in Minnesota, the bill to legalize same-sex marriage may not be completely dead. The House Ways and Means Committee has scheduled a hearing to look into the impact that the bill will have on the general funds even as another Democrat comes out in support of marriage equality.
According to an analysis done by Minnesota’s budget office, the cost to the state in benefits for married same-sex partners would come to about $688,000 a year, but it would be partially offset by roughly $190,000 in increased marriage licence fees.
The fiscal costs of the bill are unlikely to move anyone to either support or oppose same-sex marriage in the state.
Meanwhile, DFL state Representative Tim Faust announced that he will be voting for the bill legalizing same-sex marriage. Faust, who is also a Lutheran pastor, is one of the rural House Democrats who had been uncertain about his support for the bill. While Faust admits that there are many constituents who will be disappointed with his decision, he hopes that they will let him explain his reasoning.
The bill is likely to get a vote this upcoming week.
Should Minnesota legalize same-sex marriages, they would be the eleventh or twelfth to do so depending upon how the legislation goes down in Delaware. In that state, the bill is still up in the air, but it is likely that it will be voted upon soon.
Minnesota was not on the initial radar with regards to passage of marriage equality legislation.
Rhode Island recently passed same-sex marriage to become the tenth state to do so. This past November, Minnesotans voted down an attempted marriage inequality amendment. At the same time, Maine passed marriage equality via the ballot box while Maryland and Washington voters upheld marriage equality legislation.