After months of back-and-forth talks between the Florida Attorney General’s office and state legislative leaders, the two sides have come to an agreement on how to spend $300 million dollars.The money is Florida’s share of a $25 billion dollar settlement agreement with five of the nation’s largest banks over sketchy foreclosure practices.
The legislature claimed it should control the settlement money because it holds the state’s purse-strings. Some lawmakers even proposed using the money for everything from giving state employees pay raises, filling budget holes. But Attorney General Bondi rejected those claims:
“This money is to be used to help consumers in the foreclosure crisis. This money that I signed the settlement agreement for will not be used for pay raises if I have anything to do with it," Bondi said after a recent state cabinet meeting.
The agreement calls for $60 million to fund down-payment assistance, legal aid and housing education programs. $240 million will be spent by the legislature, which has to use $200 million of that for housing-related programs. The remaining money will go to the state’s general fund.
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