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Their father, Kerry Clark, 28, is an Air Force F-16 crew chief. He had been stationed at Edwards Air Force Base in California but transferred to Utah’s Hill Air Force Base so his daughters could have surgery in Salt Lake City.


Court deals setback to welfare reform

MADISON — Wisconsin’s landmark welfare reform program was dealt a setback yesterday by a state appeals court that said the state must continue giving assistance to participants who are ready to enter the work force but cannot find jobs.

In a 2-1 decision, the District 1 Court of Appeals ruled in favor of two women who qualified for the Wisconsin Works program but were immediately deemed “job ready” and ineligible for aid even though they didn’t have jobs.

The program, started 10 years ago under Gov. Tommy G. Thompson, requires mothers to work or get job training in exchange for a check and child care.

A dissenting judge said the decision guts the program’s goal of restricting welfarelike payments to those unable to work and said it would “open the welfare floodgates.”

The women agreed that they were capable of working but said a lack of jobs meant they had no income to support their families. They sued to challenge the Department of Workforce Development’s placement of them in unsubsidized employment, a classification meaning they were no longer eligible for state-subsidized jobs or job training.

The majority opinion, by Judge Patricia Curley, said state law allows only participants in the program who have jobs to be moved into unsubsidized employment.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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