Welfare secretary: Pa. can't afford to change name

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s acting secretary of the Department of Public Welfare says the state can’t afford a legislative proposal to change its name to the Department of Human Services.

Bev Mackereth said today that the cost to the agency would be about $8 million. If it wasn’t for the price tag, Mackereth says she’d be in favor of it.

Rep. Thomas Murt introduced the bill. The House Republican from suburban Philadelphia says it would “remove the stigma often associated with public assistance and welfare” and reflect the department’s range of services.

A legislative committee is expected to take up Murt’s bill on Wednesday.

Mackereth gave a brief presentation today to the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Corbett named her last month to head the agency after Gary Alexander’s departure.

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