Mayor Barrett urging Gov. Walker to use veto pen on budget

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Gov. Scott Walker is set to sign the state's biannual budget on Sunday, June 30th. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett hopes that before that, Gov. Walker uses his veto pen.

Mayor Barrett sent a request to Gov. Walker to get rid of a couple of items -- including a ban on residency requirements for city workers.

Currently, local governments like the city of Milwaukee can decide whether to impose a residency requirement. Milwaukee requires workers to live in the city — but an item in the 2013-2015 budget would change that -- requiring police, fire and emergency workers to live within 15 miles of the city or county where they work. Other city and school employees can live anywhere they choose.

"The Governor and Legislature seem just hell-bent on making sure they can do everything they can so that employees who don't want to live in the city don't have to pay toward their pension either through their property taxes or through their payroll," Mayor Barrett said.

"They have a hard time recruiting enough teachers each year in a school district that desperately needs more teachers. We want to give them every flexibility, every option to do that," Gov. Walker said.

Another item in the state budget Mayor Barrett would like to see vetoed is one dealing with highway billboards.

The measure would not allow cities to tax billboard owners for property taxes.

Mayor Barrett says if this goes through, it would shift about $2 million to other property taxpayers.