Residency requirements among top priorities for Missouri lawmakers

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Changes to redistricting and how to curb violence in Missouri's biggest cities are expected to be top issues in the state Legislature this year. Missouri lawmakers will kick off the 2020 session in Jefferson City on Wednesday, January 8.

Republican leaders say a top priority will be sending voters yet another proposed change to how legislative districts are drawn. One issue that may become a big topic is the residency requirement for St Louis City police officers.

According to the St. Louis Metro Police Department at the end of 2019 they were down 124 officers. Chief Jon Hayden said that the residency rule is a hurdle in recruiting and retaining officers.

In September the Board of Alderman rejected putting a repeal of the residency rule on the ballot for voters. A decision not in line with the beliefs of Mayor Lyda Krewson who has been in favor of scrapping the rule.

Attorney General Eric Schmitt also thinks the city should get rid of the rule. He believes state legislation altering the requirement could be drafted to supersede the city’s charter.

Senate President Dave Schatz, a Republican from Sullivan, said he plans to push for a proposal to remove the requirement.

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