Municipal Employee Residency Requirements

At one time more than 100 large cities nationwide require their employees to live within city boundaries. But over the last decade, some of these laws have come under attack. Minnesota’s state legislature has joined Michigan in passing a bill that forbids cities from enacting residency requirements. Residency opponents cite individual freedom of choice, while supporters refer to residency laws’ positive effects on community. “The law worked,” said Wes Skoglund, a Minnesota state representative from Minneapolis, in reference to his city’s residency requirement enacted in 1994. “We started to see cops in church, in the supermarkets, at neighborhood meetings.” A repeal of the law, he said, is “good for realtors, but bad for the city.”

See an article on municipal employee residency requirements in the May 2000 issue of Governing