House Approves Bloom, DiGirolamo Bill to Improve Health and Human Service Helpline
HARRISBURG – The House of Representatives today approved House Bill 211, which would help to improve Pennsylvania’s 2-1-1 system through a public-private partnership. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland) and House Human Services Committee Chairman Gene DiGirolamo (R-Bucks).

The 2-1-1 system is a free, confidential, 24-hour information and referral service provided by the United Way that connects Pennsylvanians in need with health and human service assistance available through government programs, along with private and nonprofit organizations in their communities. It also connects volunteers and donors with organizations that can help to meet the needs in their communities.

“This legislation will help to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have access to the 2-1-1 service while increasing efficiency and cost savings in the delivery of health and human services in Pennsylvania,” Bloom said.

The new public-private grant program established under House Bill 211 would help expand the service, develop mobile applications and ensure efficiency and quality standards across the state, all while reducing the taxpayer costs needed ensure its success.

“The 2-1-1 system is a virtual lifeline for many individuals and families who are looking for both private and public resources to help with human services needs,” said DiGirolamo. “The partnership that will be enhanced and expanded by this legislation not only will allow more families to be helped but is also another way to streamline effort and ensure every dollar is being used to its maximum benefit.”

The system is regionally operated and currently governed by volunteer and nonprofit organizations, and it has been supported via funds raised by the United Way and private sources. When grant funding is secured, a statewide operations coordinator will work with local United Ways and regional 2-1-1 centers to achieve national quality measures and improve the consistency of customer experience across the state. Some state funds will also supplement that grant for statewide coordination.

House Bill 211 now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Representative Stephen Bloom, 199th District

Representative Gene DiGirolamo, 18th District