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PA United Way chief wants review of welfare savings measures

Written by Craig Layne and Radio Pennsylvania | Jan 4, 2013 4:01 AM
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(Harrisburg) -- The head of one of the state's largest non-profits wants an independent review of how the commonwealth's welfare dollars are being spent.

United Way of Pennsylvania President Tony Ross is calling for a closer look at a 2011 law aimed at saving 400 million dollars in welfare spending.

He says he wants to make sure any cuts are warranted.

"We think it's very important for policymakers, and others who will be involved in the discussion, to have information about what those sort of cost-containment measures meant," Ross says.

State Department of Public Welfare spokeswoman Donna Morgan says the agency is always looking for a better way to balance services with costs.

"It's not about just cutting here and cutting there," Morgan says. "It's about making these programs more efficient, breaking down the barriers between different programs, providing more flexibility."

The United Way says the state's Independent Fiscal Office, Auditor General's Office or Legislative Budget and Finance Committee would be able to handle an independent review of DPW spending.

Welfare spending accounts for more than 38 percent of the current state budget.

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