Mortgage Settlement Helps Balance Alabama Budget

Montgomery, AL – A $25 billion national settlement with five big mortgage companies is helping balance Alabama's operating budget during lean times.

The office of Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange received $26 million from the settlement. Of that, $19.3 million will be used from 2013 through 2015 to pay for operations in the attorney general's office and in district attorneys' offices statewide.

Senate budget committee Chairman Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, said that's freeing up money to help other state programs in the $1.68 billion General Fund budget for fiscal 2013.

State officials still must figure out how to use $6 million that remains. The Arise Citizens' Policy Project and the Low Income Housing Coalition of Alabama are urging state officials to put some of the money into housing for low-income families, veterans and seniors.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)