Fla. gov. approves $200 million bank settlement

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida Gov. Rick Scott is signing off on a plan to use $200 million the state received as a part of a national agreement reached between major banks and 49 states.

Scott on Tuesday signed into law (SB 1852) a measure that sets aside money for everything from domestic violence shelters to affordable housing programs and Habitat for Humanity.

The settlement was approved last year but Attorney General Pam Bondi and legislators quietly tussled for months over who would control the money.

House Speaker Will Weatherford in January said there was no intention to do a "bait and switch" and use the settlement money to replace programs already receiving state funding.

But the final state budget diverted money from trust funds set aside for affordable housing into other programs.

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