More States Consider Diverting Foreclosure Money
But Missouri is not alone. The Associated Press reports that officials in a growing list of other states , particularly those struggling with budget shortfalls, also want to use a portion of their foreclosure settlement money for other purposes.
"In Pennsylvania, where a fourth straight budget deficit is projected, Democrats are pressing the Republican-run attorney general's office to use some of its $69 million payment to offset $2 billion in cuts to programs that benefit education, the elderly, disabled or poor," the AP reports.
"Vermont plans to use $2.4 million from the settlement to help balance its budget," the AP continues. It also reports that about 10 percent of Maryland's $62.5 million payment will be freed up for the governor and legislature to spend as they wish.
In Wisconsin, ''Governor Scott Walker wants to use $26 million to plug a state budget hole because the foreclosure crisis had a 'direct impact on the economy,' '' according to the AP. While state officials from both parties have sought to redirect settlement money, the idea has been criticized in a number of states, and some attorneys general — who must sign off on how the money is spent — have said they will not allow it to be used for non-housing purposes.