When the federal government settled with banks for $26billion over the mortgage crisis, it was intended for that money to be used to help homeowners. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon plans to follow in the footsteps of Wisconsin’s Scott Walker by allowing $40million of the $196million of Missouri’s portion of the settlement to be diverted towards education. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, in the position once held by Governor Nixon, agrees with this decision and is planning to transfer the money from the mortgage settlement to the general fund for this purpose.
Governor Nixon’s budget calls for education funding to be cut by 12.5% this year. However, the mortgage settlement money was never intended to fill this gap, it was intended to aid the homeowners who have been affected by the mortgage crisis. While I do not support any cuts in education, to allow these funds to be diverted is essentially taking the money out of the hands of these struggling homeowners.
What is seen here in Wisconsin and Missouri could set a troubling precedent, if other states should decide to follow similar courses of action. If mortgage settlement funds are diverted from the hands of the homeowners that have been affected, then the mortgage settlement does not serve its truly intended purpose and results in being nothing more than a blank check to states to use as they see fit. This course of action is not only disrespectful to homeowners, but to those in Washington who fought so hard on behalf of the homeowners.
As a lifelong Missouri resident, I ask you to help me send a message to Governor Nixon that we in Missouri do not want to become a precedent for other states to follow in dishonoring the mortgage settlement by diverting the funds away from those it intends to help. If this course of action is allowed to continue, then the mortgage settlement means nothing as it does not serve its true purpose.
If we allow Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to dishonor the mortgage settlement by diverting funds, other states may follow suit, and homeowners across the nation that were affected by the mortgage crisis will be in danger of being denied financial relief and justice. The buck MUST stop here!!