MONEY FOR WORK

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FYI: Governor George Pataki finally loosened his grip on $25 million in TANF money slated for summer youth employment programs. The governor has refused to spend $1.5 billion that the legislature’s May budget calculated as surplus TANF funds, created by projected drops in the welfare rolls. Federal rules allow the state to spend left over money from its welfare block grant on a variety of programs, such as the youth job corps. Pataki has argued, among other things, that the funds won’t materialize. But yesterday, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver triumphantly announced the governor’s decision to give in on the youth jobs piece of the money. The summer youth program, which will provide jobs for 15,000 New York City teenagers, is due to start in two weeks. [6/17/03]