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Arizona AG working on compromise to lawsuit settlement bill

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne says he’s working with state lawmakers to modify a proposal that would require money from lawsuit settlements to go into the state’s General Fund. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Mark Brodie reports.

MARK BRODIE: Horne says the issue arose after the legislature swept part of a multi-state settlement reached with banks, over problems with mortgages. The billwould automatically deposit money from lawsuit settlements like that one into the general fund, rather than a special fund. It would also prohibit a court from creating a new fund without legislative approval. Horne says that could cost the state millions of dollars.

TOM HORNE: Once a judge determines how monies are to be used, then the legislature can’t change that – in effect what it would be saying is we can’t participate in those settlements because if it doesn’t go into the General Fund, then it can’t happen. And, Arizona would lose many, many millions of dollars.

BRODIE: Horne says he understands the legislature’s need to set spending for the state, and believes he’ll be able to reach a compromise that won’t affect Arizona’s ability to join multi-state lawsuits. Just this week, Horne announced the state was joining with 11 others in suing Standard and Poor’s over alleged misleading financial claims.