Harrisburg – Legislation sponsored by Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24) to rename the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare was approved by the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee today.
Under Senate Bill 840, the department would be renamed the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Mensch noted that Pennsylvania is the only state that continues to use “welfare” to define this department, when 93 percent of DPW’s activities are for health and human services.
“Not one of our 67 counties calls their agencies, departments or bureaus use ‘welfare’ when providing services to Pennsylvanians because, as with the state, it is not reflective of the work they do,” Mensch said.
The senator noted that only one of the department’s seven program offices actually deal with what would be considered welfare.
“It is similar to calling the Department of Education ‘the Pennsylvania Department of Postsecondary and Higher Education,’” he said. “It’s inaccurate and misleading.”
Senate Bill 840 would create an efficient transition to the new title, holding harmless any contracts, prosecutions, licenses or other official actions executed under DPW. It also requires current supplies, signs, and other material bearing the current name be exhausted in order to minimize cost.
The bill is now before the full Senate for consideration.
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