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Compromise in the work on proposal for eliminating residency requirement


MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A compromise is in the works to keep letting Wisconsin communities tell their public employees where they can live.

Joint Finance Committee co-chairman John Nygren says a deal is being discussed which would allow making public workers live within a certain distance of their municipalities – or else they would pay financial penalties.

Nygren, a Republican from Marinette, said the distance requirement is still being negotiated – and so is the proposed penalty.

The finance panel was scheduled Thursday to act on Governor Scott Walker’s budget proposal to eliminate residency requirements in cities which have them.

Officials from Milwaukee, Madison, and Two Rivers spoke out at the State Capitol Wednesday against Walker’s proposal.

The governor says public employees deserve to live where they want.

Local officials say the residency mandate lets them be available for emergencies at a moment’s notice.

The governor’s critics say it’s a payback to the Milwaukee police-and-fire unions who endorsed Walker in his last two gubernatorial elections. Walker has denied that.