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    :: Monday, November 27, 2006 ::

    Judge clears way for training grant awards - By Melissa Campbell, Alaska Journal of Commerce
    State statute says that STEP money cannot go toward programs that would displace money available through existing public or private training programs. The ABC complaint argues that union programs are being favored in grant awards.

    But Superior Court Judge Mark Rindner denied that request, and allowed the state to continue with the grant process for now. His decision, filed Nov. 15, said there was insufficient evidence showing that union-affiliated training programs have funds available that are displaced by STEP grants.

    Rindner wrote that state statutes do not "categorically prohibit the award of STEP grant funds to union-affiliated training programs." In fact, he added, STEP grants have gone to unions since the program's inception, a fact the Legislature is aware of and has not changed during the program?s reauthorizations over the years.
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