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State regains lost child-care grant

BISMARCK -- North Dakota will get a $325,000 child-care apprenticeship grant after all. Gov. John Hoeven said Friday the money, withdrawn by the U.S. Department of Labor last month, is back on its way to the state. Hoeven said he worked with the ...

BISMARCK -- North Dakota will get a $325,000 child-care apprenticeship grant after all.

Gov. John Hoeven said Friday the money, withdrawn by the U.S. Department of Labor last month, is back on its way to the state.

Hoeven said he worked with the Bush administration and the Labor Department to get the money restored to the state Department of Human Services.

The money will train teachers of young children and educate students going into child-care fields.

The state Emergency Commission still has to approve DHS' acceptance of the grant and must do so before the federal fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, said Carol Olson, executive director of DHS.

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Under state law, state agencies cannot take in or spend money that has not been appropriated by the Legislature, even federal funds and grants.

The Emergency Commission and the Legislature's Budget Section provide necessary between-session approvals.

The state first got word it had won the grant in June. But within days, before the Emergency Commission could meet, the Labor Department withdrew it, saying the state had missed a deadline to formally accept the money.

DHS doesn't usually get grants from the Labor Department and neither agency was familiar with the other's procedures, Olson said.

"It was a simple problem, a procedural difference," she said.

Now, she said, a special Emergency Commission meeting has to be called because it is not scheduled to meet until Oct. 1.

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