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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: February 26, 2013 10:25 AM
From: Senator Bob Mensch and Sen. Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: Renaming the Department of Public Welfare the Department of Human Services
We are introducing legislation to rename the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services.

Pennsylvania is the only state that continues to use "welfare" to define itself when 93% of DPW's activities are for health and human services. None of our 67 counties call their agencies, departments or bureaus "welfare" when providing services to Pennsylvanians because it is not reflective of the work they do as well. Only one of the Department's seven program offices actually deal with what would be considered welfare, leaving its name a misnomer. It is similar to calling the Department of Education the "Pennsylvania Department of Postsecondary and Higher Education."

Our bill would redesignate DPW as the Department of Human Services and create an efficient transition which holds harmless any contracts, prosecutions, licenses, or other official actions executed under DPW and requires current supplies, signs, etc. bearing the current name be exhausted in order to minimize cost.

Introduced as SB840