This was inevitable. California is $7 billion more in the budget hole than they expected at the end of last year, and they need money from any source. The federal government delivered $410 million to California in the foreclosure fraud settlement. That money is supposed to go to homeowners, but many states have raided the funds for their own budgets. So this was an inviting target for Jerry Brown.
The Sacramento Bee makes it sound like Brown is prepared to steal the money:
The Democratic governor relies on a patchwork of solutions to bridge the gap in a $91.4 billion general fund spending plan, including deeper cuts, his November tax initiative and taking money from a multi-state mortgage abuse settlement with banks.
In reality, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but the effect is actually the same as a traditional raid on the funding.
Here’s how Brown himself described the move in his revised budget today.