The National Mortgage Settlement with the five largest banks was to provide $26 billion in various kinds of assistance to the country's homeowners in an effort to mitigate the damage caused by the foreclosure crisis. Of that amount, Arizona's share was roughly $1.6 billion.

The ink was barely dry on the settlement agreement, and the Arizona legislature wasted no time sweeping $50 million of that money into the general funds to help balance the state's budget deficit. And frankly, when it happened I couldn't have been less surprised.

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