By Bob Katzen

The House and Senate both approved a bill that would allow legislative governing bodies of cities and towns the option to expand the definition of local residency for civil service hiring preference to include anyone who received a high school diploma from a school in that city or town. Neither branch gave the measure final approval.

“This legislation could aid municipalities in their efforts to draw from a diverse pool of applicants for police and fire department jobs, and provide additional career opportunities for students who become part of a local community by attending and graduating from its high school,” said sponsor Sen. Will Brownsberger (D-Belmont) who plans to refile the bill in the 2023-2024 session.

Supporters gave an example that a student enrolled in the METCO program who graduated from high school in another city or town could be considered a local resident for civil service purposes if the city council or town meeting voted to expand the residency definition under the proposed legislation.

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