SEIU: Banks should help struggling Minnesota schools
Service Employees International Union Local 284 Executive Director Carol Nieters has called on banks like Wells Fargo and Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank to help Minnesota schools who will be forced to borrow money following this week’s budget deal to end the state government shutdown.
“As details of the state budget bills emerge, the real winners are becoming clear: corporate special interests – especially banks – and multi-millionaire CEOs,” Nieters said in the statement released Wednesday.
The statement sharply criticizes GOP legislators for choosing to “use irresponsible one-time borrowing that put the burden, literally, on our children, in monies borrowed from our schools and junk bonds borrowed against future tobacco settlement revenues” rather than increasing taxes on the state’s multimillionaires.
Nieters said St. Paul Public Schools will now be forced to borrow $30 million, which could end up costing the district at least $450,000 in interest and fees.
So the SEIU has asked Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank to offer to waive interest and fees on “borrowing forced on our schools by these GOP budget gimmicks.”
“To do otherwise would be shameful,” Nieters wrote. “We bailed out the banks – now it’s time they recognize their role in helping the communities they serve.”
SEIU members rallied in the rotunda of the state Capitol Thursday to speak out against the budget deal.
Wells Fargo did not comment on whether it would consider waiving interest and fees on the loans.
“For all Wells Fargo lending, we work directly with our customers and follow all rules and regulations that ensure fair and responsible lending,” Wells Fargo spokeswoman Peggy Gunn said in an email to the Minnesota Independent.
U.S. Bank has not responsed to requests for comment.