Should Illinois’ state workers be required to actually live in Illinois?

Illinois lawmakers in the state Senate gave that question a resounding “yes” last week.

The legislation would give a new employee not living within the state’s boundaries three months to establish residency in Illinois.

“For any position filled after Dec. 31, 2019, no person may be appointed to a position based in the state of Illinois from any eligible list unless that person becomes a resident of the state of Illinois within three months from the person’s first day of employment in that position or unless the residency requirement is waived for just cause by the director of central management services,” according to the text of the amended bill.

Sen. Laura Fine said her bill would be amended in the House to grandfather in people who already are employed by the state but live elsewhere.

“This bill requires all Illinois state employees to live in Illinois,” she said. “The amendment currently on the takes away opposition from the Department of Revenue as they have some employees who intentionally live out of state and when this bill goes to the House, it will be further amended to grandfather in all current employees.”

It got unanimous support in the Senate and now needs House approval before it can be sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker for consideration.

The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council 31, the state’s largest public sector union, opposes the bill.

The majority of Illinois’ population lives within commuting distance of another state, including in Kankakee and Iroquois counties, where the Indiana state line is immediately east.

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