It looks like Scott Walker and the Republican authority trampled all over the state constitution again.
After serving as Milwaukee County Executive, Walker wanted to exact a little revenge on Wisconsin’s largest city.
He failed big time. jsonline Crocker Stephenson:
In a blistering opinion Tuesday, the Wisconsin Court of Appeals reinstated Milwaukee's decades-old residency rule, which requires city employees to live within city limits.It was meant to break Milwaukee's economic back:
The 1st District Court of Appeals' decision, written by Presiding Judge Patricia S. Curley, threw out a Republican-backed statute tucked into the 2013-'15 state budget that prohibits local governments from enforcing any residency rules other than those that require police and firefighters to live within 15 miles of their borders. "The sole reason we can delineate for the statute's existence is the gutting of Milwaukee's long-standing residency requirement," Curley wrote.
Milwaukee's position is that the law violates the Wisconsin Constitution's home rule amendment. The home rule amendment holds that any state law must yield to local law unless it involves matter of statewide concern and it affects every city or village with uniformity. The 2013 law on residency "does not involve matters of statewide concern and does not affect all local governmental units uniformly," Curley wrote. "It does not trump the Milwaukee ordinance."
The court pointed to a Legislative Fiscal Bureau paper that warned lawmakers that the statute would have a ruinous impact on Milwaukee's neighborhoods and economy. "The notion that a statute purporting to gut the tax bases and compromise neighborhood integrity of all municipalities would pass both houses of the Legislature defies logic," Curley wrote. Judge Joan F. Kessler noted a consultant's report … Some 60% of Milwaukee's 7,000 employees would become nonresidents, the report says. Nearly 4,000 households would leave the city, resulting an estimated retail loss of nearly $55 million. The city's tax base would take a $649 million hit. The loss "will obviously directly impact Milwaukee's ability to pay for necessary infrastructure, service and wages," Kessler wrote. "There is no evidence in the record that any other municipality would likely be similarly affected," she wrote.