HARRISBURG - First the Department of Public Welfare jumped the gun on the budget process Monday by notifying 70,000 recipients of general cash assistance that the program would be eliminated Sunday. Only the budget had not passed the legislature yet.
Then a top agency official on Thursday threatened caseworkers, fielding calls from distraught clients, with disciplinary action if they suggested the clients call their state lawmakers to voice their concerns.
"Effective immediately, all CAO staff should be instructed NOT to direct the clients to their Legislator or Representative. Such direction is contrary to the Department's position on the matter," according to an e-mail from Rich Wallace, DPW's acting director of bureau operations, obtained by The Inquirer.