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Ananich Plan Would Use Foreclosure Settlement Money for Public Safety

courtesy Rep. Jim Ananich

State Representative Jim Ananich (D-Flint) announced today that he is pushing Lansing leadership to dedicate a significant portion of the funds Michigan receives from the national foreclosure settlement to help boost public safety. Under Ananich’s proposal, at least $25 million would be used to get more police on the streets in the areas that were hardest hit by the foreclosure epidemic.

“The foreclosure crisis tore apart our neighborhoods and it sapped the revenues we needed to keep police and firefighters on the street,” said Ananich. “It makes sense to use a portion of the resources to make our communities more safe as part of a comprehensive, aggressive approach to protect our families and kickstart our economy.”

The Attorney General, House and Senate all have proposed different plans for allocating the discretionary portion of Michigan’s share of the settlement. While much of it rightly goes to those who were victims of foreclosure and to reduce the potential for additional home loss, some have suggested using millions to help people renovate or purchase foreclosed properties that are already at drastically low prices. Ananich argues it would do more for property values and getting people back to work to make sure families feel that their loved ones and their homes are safe.

“It’s not enough to just keep talking about public safety, we need to see more action that produces results,” said Ananich. “This settlement is an opportunity to immediately and significantly address two of the very problems that foreclosures cause.”

As a member of the Appropriations Committee debating the settlement bills, Ananich has approached legislative leaders and the Attorney General’s Office to push the plan. When the Attorney General suggested adding hundreds of more police officers earlier this year, Ananich supported the plan and introduced HB 5489, which would have funded the effort. Ananich has also been working for resources to supply more jail space, provide job opportunities for young people and those who are unemployed, and law enforcement initiatives¬† to get dangerous criminals off the street.

Analysis of the Executive and House settlement proposals can be found here.

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