MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is again pressuring state Republicans to use more of a lawsuit settlement over mortgage abuses to help the city deal with its foreclosed properties.
The state government received just over $30 million from the settlement – in which the Badger State got a total of $140 million from large banks that were sued for abuses in the ways they handled foreclosures.
In April, Governor Scott Walker agreed to put $24 million of the windfall toward the state’s budget deficit. But now, with the state expecting a surplus, Barrett said the GOP should allocate the money to his city and others to deal with the clean-ups of foreclosed properties.
State officials recently said the current two-year budget would end with a $275 million surplus by next June 30th.
Barrett said the surplus, “removes any rationale for ripping us off from those dollars that will help the city and other communities.”
Milwaukee Alderman Michael Murphy said the state did provide a half-million dollars to tear down 39 blighted and vacant houses in the city. But he says much more is needed. And Murphy said, “the millions from the settlement was supposed to be used to help” foreclosed residents and to mitigate issues involving abandoned houses.
The governor’s office has not commented.