Capitol Alert

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Gov. Jerry Brown this morning defended his proposal to use $410 million in proceeds from the national mortgage settlement to help solve California's budget deficit, offsetting other costs.

The Democratic governor said he would consider any "vital programs" that may be affected, but he suggested much of the money from the settlement with large banks would otherwise have been used for lawyers.

"Any program that will help homeowners I will take a good look at," Brown told reporters one day after releasing his May budget revision. "We have time to work on the budget, but we're looking for money where we can find it."

In a written statement Monday, Attorney General Kamala Harris said the bank settlement was designed to help struggling homeowners and that money "should be used to help Californians stay in their homes."

Brown said before speaking to a crime victims group in Sacramento that budgeting is "all a balance."

"Whether it's courts or children or teachers or vulnerable people, it's not pretty," he said.

Brown is seeking a mix of spending cuts, borrowing and tax increases to close a $15.7 billion budget deficit.



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