A legislative committee has voted to approve a bill that would change the name of Pennsylvania's Department of Public Welfare to the Department of Human Services.
The measure was voted out of the House Human Services Committee on Wednesday and sent to the full House for consideration.
Rep. Thomas Murt, a House Republican from suburban Philadelphia who introduced the bill, says the change would reflect the department's range of services. He said the 49 other states have eliminated the term "welfare."
"If we want a department that truly places a priority on helping Pennsylvanians live more meaningful, independent lives, then change the name to reflect the mission," Murt said in a statement Wednesday. "If we want to reduce or eliminate welfare in Pennsylvania, let's start with the name."
Bev Mackereth, acting secretary of Public Welfare, has said the cost of changing the name of the agency would be about $8 million.
Murt said the legislation would phase in the name change to limit the costs.