Tallahassee officials tussle over Florida’s share of mortgage settlement
TALLAHASSEE — Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is quietly feuding with the GOP-controlled Legislature over who should have a say over more than $300 million intended to help homeowners.
Florida is directly receiving $334 million as part of its share of a national $25 billion settlement with five of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders. This is separate from an estimated $8 billion also expected to go to help homeowners and borrowers in the state.
The settlement was announced six months ago and finalized in early April. But since then, Bondi has not announced any plans on how the state’s share of the money would be spent.
That’s because Bondi — the state’s top legal officer — has asserted that her office can spend the money without first getting approval from state legislators.
Legislative leaders, however, contend that Florida’s constitution gives the Legislature the power to make spending decisions.