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Gov. Walker: Improving education is partial reason for lifting residency requirement


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Governor Scott Walker says his desire to improve education is partially why he wants to stop forcing teachers and other public employees to live in the communities where they work.

Walker’s proposed state budget would end local residency rules for public workers in around 125 communities.

The Republican Walker blames the Milwaukee Public Schools’ residency requirement for its lack of ability to fill all of its teacher vacancies. And Walker said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett makes a weak argument, when he claims that the city’s problem with vacant homes would get worse if city employees were allowed to flee to the suburbs.

Walker says it’s like saying, “The only way we can keep people here is to build a wall.”

The governor says he believes in local government control, but not when it violates personal freedoms.

Barrett says nobody’s freedom is being compromised – because job applicants know when they apply that they’d have to live in Milwaukee if they get a city job.

Walker made his first public comments on his residency proposal Sunday, when he was interviewed by the Journal Sentinel at the National Governors Association meeting in Washington.