Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

Earlier this week, Gov. Tom Wolf signed an executive order raising the minimum wage to $10.15 for workers under the governor’s jurisdiction, and some contractors.

In all, fewer than 500 of the state’s 79,000 workers will be impacted by the order – and those working in the human services sector are excluded altogether.

Food Stamps Program Cutting Errors, Says Wolf

Jan 21, 2016
ajmexico / Flickr

The Wolf administration says the state’s food stamps program is making fewer mistakes, marking its lowest error rate in 29 years of keeping records.

“We’re not giving anything to the wrong people and we’re doing this the right way,” said Governor Tom Wolf on Wednesday. The lower error rate is estimated to save as much as $35 million in federal money for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Parker Knight / Flickr

A slate of changes to the state’s early childhood development and learning programs are in the works, including extending how long children can access subsidized child care and providing more assistance to low-income families.

Asylum Projects

Defendants ordered to receive treatment before they can stand trial are waiting up to a year to be admitted at one of the two state hospitals. 

A class-action lawsuit against the commonwealth from the American Civil Liberties Union's Pennsylvania office alleges that wait time is unconstitutional.

Torrance State Hospital near Pittsburgh and Norristown State Hospital near Philadelphia are perpetually full, often requiring defendants deemed unfit to stand trial sit in jail until vacancies arise.

A new Pennsylvania law was enacted Monday changing the Department of Public Welfare's title to the Department of Human Services.

Pennsylvania's DPW had been the last in the country to include the word "welfare" in its title — a term some considered weighted with negative connotations. DHS spokeswoman Cait Gillis said another problem is that the name was not reflective of the work they do at the department.

Legislation to change the name of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare to the Department of Human Services passed the House before it adjourned for the summer but the Senate left Harrisburg without taking any action on the revised bill.  The Senate is scheduled to reconvene in September.