A little-noticed Massachusetts state ruling may have big implications forGOP welfare reform effortsacross the country, TIME Boston bureau chief Sam Allis reports. On Monday, the state labor relations commission ruled that Lawrence, Mass. -- a city with one of the state's largest populations on welfare -- may not use its welfare recipients to do sanitation work. The city, which is appealing the verdict, claims that such work conforms with the 20 hours a week of community service incorporated in the "workfare" concept that Mass. Gov. William Weld, House SpeakerNewt Gingrich and other Republicans have embraced. But in cash-strapped Lawrence, a labor union successfully challenged the arrangement, charging that the welfare conscripts are taking jobs from laid-off union members. "It's not going to blow workfare out of the water," says Allis, "but states may not have the freedom to determine what 'workfare' is."