AUSTIN (KXAN) - Kim Dear and Barbara Ward had been partners for nearly three years before getting married last year.
Something they had to take a vacation to accomplish.
"We went to New York to get married because the state of Texas doesn't offer that for us," said Dear.
Their employer allows them to carry a "plus 1" on their insurance coverage regardless of gender.
"It would probably save us, as a couple, around $500," said Dear.
But for city and school workers in same-sex relationships, the opportunity to have similar benefits could be eliminated if Attorney General Greg Abbott's opinion comes to pass.
Pflugerville Independent School District and the city of Austin are two governmental agencies that currently offer those benefits and Austin ISD was in the process of offering domestic partnership benefits to their employees.
Losing the benefits could be a big blow according to Mayor Lee Leffingwell.
"I hope and believe we will find a way to continue to provide these benefits because they are important," said Leffingwell. "It is not only a civil rights issue but a quality of life issue for our employees."
The mayor thinks the benefits are an important element to attracting and retaining a qualified workforce, but also says it is about humanity.
"It is the right thing to do."
Each of the local agencies offering the benefits said that they would discuss them further with legal council before deciding on how to proceed.
The AG's opinion is not binding, but Leffingwell admits it is a key ruling.
"It does not force us to change right now, but it has to be given great weight," said Leffingwell. "But we want to continue offering these benefits."
Plugerville ISD currently has five same-sex employees signed up to receive the benefits while the city of Austin has 95.
Sub-freezing temperatures and an approaching upper level disturbance could combine to produce some patchy freezing drizzle or sleet Saturday and early Sunday morning.
Investigators are still trying to figure out who murdered an Austin teacher in Benghazi on Thursday.
Back in June, Governor Rick Perry signed a new law officially letting teachers and students use greetings such as "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Hannukah" in school, all without getting in any trouble.
The Round Rock-based computer giant, Dell Inc., is offering some workers voluntary buyouts as it seeks to trim costs and boost productivity.
The Austin Humane Society reopened to the public Friday after closing its doors for six weeks.
Sub-freezing temperatures will continue across much of Central Texas all day Saturday. A second disturbance associated with the winter storm that slammed Texas Thursday and Friday could lead to more freezing precipitation Saturday and …