Gov. Nixon has signed SB739, sponsored by Sen. Jim Lembke, into law. I had asked the governor to veto it.
The new state law is contrary to both the City's Charter and the state's Constitution. The only people in the state with the legal (and moral) authority to change the City's employee residency rules are the voters of the City of St. Louis. If citizens of the City want to change the local residency rule or any other element of our Charter, we can amend it. However, the state cannot, a point which is clearly enunciated in Article VI, section 22 of the state's Constitution. Beyond that, an exemption for a select group of employees seems to violate both federal and state rights to equal protection.
Employees of the City of St. Louis have all accepted the residency rule as a condition of employment. SB739 purports to give some of them the chance to break that contract. The next steps will be serious.