July 28, 2014

Budget drops residency requirement

A provision in Governor Scott Walker’s state budget would eliminate residency restrictions for government workers around the state.

Several communities currently require their employees to live inside municipal borders. While it primarily applies to department heads around most of the state, Walker says it’s a big issue in Milwaukee, where most public employees have to live in the city.

Walker says the rule has resulted in challenges when looking for qualified teachers. While he could have focused the change on that city alone, the governor says it made more sense not “to have a patchwork, but just repeal it completely.”

AUDIO: Gov. Scott Walker (:19)

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has criticized the proposal as payback for police and fire unions in his city, which have supported Governor Walker in recent elections. Groups representing cities and counties say they are still reviewing the proposal before taking a position.

Walker says workers should be hired based on their qualifications, not where they live.

Mike Kemmeter, WHBY