The Missouri House Budget Committee chairman said today that he supports Gov. Jay Nixon's proposal to use $40 million of a multi-state bank settlement to ease higher education budget cuts.
The chairman, Rep. Ryan Silvey, said legislators already had planned to find a way to soften Nixon's proposed $106 million cut for the state's four-year and two-year public colleges and universities.
"I'm glad the governor is finally starting to listen to legislators and the people of this state who make education a priority," said Silvey, R-Kansas City.
The newfound money will come from a national mortgage settlement with companies that used improper ways to speed foreclosures, such as by putting fake signatures on required documents. The $25 billion nationwide settlement between the states and the banks (Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally Financial, formerly known as GMAC) was announced this morning.
In addition to $100 million to help people who are struggling to pay their mortgages, Missouri is getting $40 million to spend as it pleases. Illinois is receiving $1 billion to help homeowners.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster plans a news conference at 3:15 p.m. today in St. Louis to release details of the settlement.
Nixon had already announced Tuesday that he wanted to use $40 million of the settlement to soften his cuts to higher education.