Rich Ohio But Poor Ohioans

One goal of the 1996 federal welfare reform was to give states more flexibility in spending antipoverty funds, through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. But only four states used all their TANF money in 2004, the last year for which data were available. No other state has hoarded like Ohio, which has $900 million in unused TANF funds--a surplus twice as big as second-ranked New York's.

Ohio officials admit the pot is too big, given that the number of Ohioans living in poverty rose 17% from 2000 to 2004 and some 83,000 families are on welfare. They blame...

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