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A state judge has struck down a 2003 city law allowing welfare recipients to pursue education and training as part of their work requirements. The November 24 ruling, which the City Council plans to appeal, marks the latest installment in the battle over the council’s Access to Training and Education (CATE) legislation [see “Training Time,” 4/14/03]. The law became ensnared in legal wrangling after the council overrode a mayoral veto; the Bloomberg administration promptly sued to stop implementation. In the meantime, CATE languished. As of mid-November, less than 3 percent of welfare recipients were receiving education or training, according to statistics from the Human Resources Administration. Judge Faviola Soto’s ruling did not challenge the substance of the law but upheld the city’s claim that such changes to welfare policy are the domain of the state. Soto’s suggestion for the council: If local legislators want to make changes to city welfare policy, they should do so through a public referendum. [12/13/04]

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