UPDATE: Judge voids residency rule for Milwaukee employees

UPDATED Monday, January 27, 2014 --- 5:05 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A judge has declared void Milwaukee's 75-year-old requirement that municipal workers live within the city's boundaries.

A provision in the state budget passed last year bars residency requirements for public workers other than police, fire and emergency personnel. Those workers can be required to live within 15 miles of where they work.

Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Paul Van Grunsven ruled Monday that the state law "creates a constitutional liberty interest in being free from residency requirements" to get a municipal job and Milwaukee's residency rule can no longer be enforced.

Mayor Tom Barrett tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the city will appeal.

Barrett previously cited a study that found 60 percent of Milwaukee's 7,000 workers could leave the city over the next 11 years without the residency rule.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


UPDATED Thursday, July 11, 2013 --- 7:59 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Milwaukee Police Association is asking a judge to order the city of Milwaukee to obey a new state law that allows public-sector employees to move out of the city.

The lawsuit was filed late Wednesday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court. The police union's lawsuit says the city's failure to comply with the law, signed June 30 by Gov. Scott Walker, deprives officers of their rights to live where they choose, free of the threat of being fired for violating the city's residency rule.

Mayor Tom Barrett tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he continues to believe the 75-year-old residency rule is legal.

Last week, the Common Council voted to continue enforcing the residency rule and authorized City Attorney Grant Langley to file suit challenging the new state law.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

Posted Friday, May 10, 2013 --- 6:40 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Only police, fire and emergency workers could be required to live within 15 miles of the city or county where they work under a provision added to the state budget.

The Legislature's Joint Finance Committee on Thursday voted to prohibit any more restrictive residency requirements than that.

Gov. Scott Walker proposed doing away with any residency requirements statewide.

The change would most dramatically affect Milwaukee. All Milwaukee city and school district employees must live in the city. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and others strongly oppose removing that.

A vote to remove Walker's proposal in the budget failed on an 8-8 vote. A vote to establish the 15-miles radius passed 12-4 with Republicans in support and Democrats opposed.

Copyright 2013: Associated Press

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