St. Louis Firefighters Win Residency Fight

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KTVI) - St. Louis City Firefighters may soon be able to move out of the city limits.  The Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that St. Louis city firefighters who have been with the department at least seven years should be allowed to move outside the city limits.

The Missouri Legislature passed a law in 2012 overriding local residency requirements for fire departments located in cities with unaccredited or provisionally unaccredited school districts. The Supreme Court ruling upholds that law.

The city of St. Louis requires municipal employees to live within the city, including firefighters.  

The St. Louis school district was unaccredited when the Missouri legislature’s law passed. It now is provisionally accredited. But St. Louis sued, arguing the state law infringed on the city's authority to set its own work policies. A trial judge ruled last year for the city. The state Supreme Court on Tuesday overturned that ruling.

The St. Louis Fire Department Union, IAFF Local 73, released this statement:

"Today the Missouri Supreme Court ruled in the matter of the City of St Louis, Francis G Slay, et al, vs the State of Missouri, the court upheld the statewide laws with regards to residency requirements for fire department employees and we respect the opinion of the court. This ruling will not impact the excellent services provided by the St Louis Fire Department. The men and women of the St Louis Fire Department remain dedicated to ensuring the safety and security of the citizens of our great City."