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Politics & Government

Vote on State DPW Name Change Delayed

A committee vote on a plan to change the name of the state Department of Public Welfare has been delayed.

Lawmakers from both parties wanted more time to draft amendments to the measure to re-name DPW as the Department of Human Services.

Democrats say they hope to add language to force the issue of expanding Medicaid.

Similar legislation was approved by the Senate last summer, but has stalled in the House.

Republican Sen. Jake Corman, chairman of the Appropriations Committee that delayed the vote, says it may not be the best strategy to try to amend Medicaid expansion in bill after bill.

"Look, we passed Medicaid expansion, and it’s sitting over in the House, my guess is they’re not going to take it up, so if we attach it to this, we’re probably putting the rest of the bill at risk," Corman said.

Supporters of the name change say it would be more sensitive to benefits recipients and more representative of the services offered by the agency.

If passed by the Senate, it would go to the governor for approval.

Corman says the bill will likely get a committee vote next week.