Quantcast

Bill proposed to change the name of the Department of Welfare - abc27 WHTM

Dauphin County

Bill proposed to change the name of the Department of Welfare

Posted: Updated:
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -

There's a plan to change the name of the Department of Public Welfare even though the department doesn't really want it.

"The Department of Public Welfare is responsible for helping to provide programs and services to the neediest citizens in Pennsylvania," said department spokeswoman Carey Miller. Those services include child care, abuse prevention, and medicaid.

"Much of what they do is not welfare, 95% of what they do is not welfare as we know it," said Rep. Tom Murt of the 152nd District. That's he has introduced a bill to change its name to the Department of Human Services. He says it's long overdue. "Pennsylvania is the only state in the country that still uses the moniker public welfare for the mission of human services," he said.

The Welfare Department isn't as quick to jump on board. "Right now the department wants to focus on every dollar going to our neediest citizens," Miller said, "So we want to make sure that any dollars that we have available, we're using them for the programs and services that serve these Pennsylvanians."

The department says a lot of work would have to go into changing the name. The Harrisburg office alone would need a makeover, as well as the website. But that's not all. Signs, access cards, brochures, and applications would all need to be changed. The department says that will cost money.

There's conflicting reports about how much this would cost. The range is anywhere from $500,000 to $8 million! Representative Murt's not buying it. "We believe our legislation is close to being cost neutral," he said.

Others say the word "welfare" has a negative connotation, and the state should keep it to discourage people from using it. Murt disagrees. "We certainly should not be attempting to shame or humiliate people and families in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania that need assistance or have fallen on hard times," he said, "We need to show compassion and empathy for these individuals and I believe that my legislation accomplishes that."

The legislation has passed a committee. Next it will go to an appropriations committee to determine the exact cost. Then it heads to the house floor for a vote.

Representative Murt says if his bill passes, everything would not have to change at once. He says he supports the department and wants to give it more funding.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • State police arrest man for aggravated assault

    State police arrest man for aggravated assault

    Saturday, August 30 2014 2:10 PM EDT2014-08-30 18:10:05 GMT
    State police say a Dauphin County man is behind bars for aggravated assault.Troopers were called to a home on the 100-block of South Second Street around 3:35 Friday afternoon.According to state police, they received a complaint that 48 year old Robert Dale Beaver, Jr. allegedly took prescription drugs, and was carrying a knife and big stick.Troopers say Beaver was looking to pick a fight.Investigators say Beaver refused to listen to commands and reached for the knife in an attempt to attack ...More >>
    State police say a Dauphin County man is behind bars for aggravated assault.Troopers were called to a home on the 100-block of South Second Street around 3:35 Friday afternoon.According to state police, they received a complaint that 48 year old Robert Dale Beaver, Jr. allegedly took prescription drugs, and was carrying a knife and big stick.Troopers say Beaver was looking to pick a fight.Investigators say Beaver refused to listen to commands and reached for the knife in an attempt to attack ...More >>
  • At an intersection with no crossing guard, retired Marine steps up to help

    At an intersection with no crossing guard, retired Marine steps up to help

    Saturday, August 30 2014 10:28 AM EDT2014-08-30 14:28:46 GMT
    A retired Marine has gained national attention after he put on his dress blues to help students cross a busy street near a city elementary school It was last year Cpl. Lewis Alston, 63, Lititz, noticed South Duke Street and North Street did not have a crossing guard. The intersection is near Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. So Alston, a chaplain for the Lancaster County Marine Corps League, took action. “What I did was the first day of school, on Monday; I was at a funeral service be...More >>
    A retired Marine has gained national attention after he put on his dress blues to help students cross a busy street near a city elementary school It was last year Cpl. Lewis Alston, 63, Lititz, noticed South Duke Street and North Street did not have a crossing guard. The intersection is near Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. So Alston, a chaplain for the Lancaster County Marine Corps League, took action. “What I did was the first day of school, on Monday; I was at a funeral service be...More >>
  • Police investigate string of car and home break-ins

    Police investigate string of car and home break-ins

    Saturday, August 30 2014 1:15 PM EDT2014-08-30 17:15:22 GMT
    Police in Lower Paxton Township are investigating another string of car and home break-ins.According to police, two homes on Wesley Driver were reported broken into.One home had cash from a wallet stolen, and a purse was reportedly rifled through.Police say entry was gained through an unlocked door.The second home did not have anything reported missing, but investigators say entry was gained by using a key which was left in a car parked in the driveway.In addition to these incidents, police s...More >>
    Police in Lower Paxton Township are investigating another string of car and home break-ins.According to police, two homes on Wesley Driver were reported broken into.One home had cash from a wallet stolen, and a purse was reportedly rifled through.Police say entry was gained through an unlocked door.The second home did not have anything reported missing, but investigators say entry was gained by using a key which was left in a car parked in the driveway.In addition to these incidents, police s...More >>
Powered by WorldNow