PILOT GROUNDED

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FYI: A state Supreme Court ruled last week that a 2000 City Council law that sought to reshape the Guiliani administration’s welfare-to-work program through an experimental pilot program is invalid. Local Law 14, passed over a mayoral veto, mandated that the city create 7,500 subsidized, 12-month jobs at government agencies and community-based nonprofits for people transitioning out of welfare, with pay of $7.50 an hour plus benefits. The Council cast the initiative as a pilot program, stretched out over three years. But the city refused to implement it, prompting a class action suit. The court ruled early last week that any such pilot program requires state approval, as the state social service law clearly places authority over the welfare-to-work program in state hands, and thus that Local Law 14 is invalid. [5/13/03]