Taking money meant for financially pressed homeowners and using it to balance California’s budget is plain wrong

Here’s the story briefly: In 2012, Brown and the Legislature took $410 million that was supposed to assist victims of abusive mortgage lending and used it to help balance the state budget. Homeowner groups sued. Two courts ruled against the state and ordered it to replace $331 million.

Just before the current Legislature adjourned Aug. 31, lawmakers passed a bill essentially telling the courts to go pound sand. The measure “confirmed” that Brown spent the money “consistent with the direction given” him by the 2012 Legislature. So there! The governor signed the bill last week.

“The Legislature and the governor said, ‘In your face, judge, we’re going to do what we want to do regardless of how you rule,’” says state Sen. John Moorlach (R-Costa Mesa), a former Orange County treasurer-tax collector.

Brown is appealing the case to the state Supreme Court, which hasn’t decided whether to take it.

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