Governor Walker wants to end residency requirements for public employees in dozens of Wisconsin communities. The leader of Wisconsin's largest city predicts a statewide fight against the proposal.
The governor didn't mention it in his budget speech last night, but his budget proposal contains a plan to stop requiring local public employees to live in the community where they're employed. Perhaps the biggest impact would be felt in Milwaukee, and that city's mayor, Tom Barrett, held a late evening news conference to blast the governor's proposal. Barrett says making it easier for city employees to move to the suburbs would drive down Milwaukee property values.
"At the same time when this city is trying to do everything we can to reverse property value declines because of the foreclosure crisis, that [the governor] gives us a second kick in the teeth."
Barrett contends ending residency requirements has nothing to do with the state budget and shouldn't be in the document. he says walker is just trying to repay the governor's supporters in the Milwaukee police and firefighters union. Barrett says he expects many local officials around the state to ask Republican lawmakers who used to be in local government to keep residency requirements.