- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 27, 2014

CHELSEA, Mass. (AP) - Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker says the state should take steps to exclude immigrants in the country illegally from public housing.

Baker unveiled a series of public housing proposals during a campaign stop in Chelsea on Wednesday, including one that he said would automatically give preference to citizens and legal immigrants who are currently on lengthy waiting lists for subsidized housing.

Baker said the change would put the state in line with federal public housing eligibility rules.

Republican lawmakers, along with some Democrats, pushed a similar proposal in the just-concluded legislative session but an amendment was not included in the final version of a welfare reform bill.

Baker’s plan would also give preference to public housing applicants who sign a lease agreeing to go to school, work or provide full-time community service.