Featured News

Philadelphia House Delegation: police accountability reforms are coming

Dawkins votes against bill shielding cops who fire their guns

(Jan 06, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 19 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., voted against a bill that would give anonymity to police officers who discharge a firearm or use force unless the officer is charged with a crime in the incident. Proponents claim that the bill, H.B. 1538 , would protect police officers and their families from retaliation when they discharge their firearm or use force, but it seems that it only serves to shield them from any scrutiny of the actions, Dawkins said. "At a time when the relationship between law enforcement and the minority communities they serve is already strained, the last thing we need is a bill that would create suspicion and potentially damage public trust," Dawkins said. "This is a poorly written bill that may be unconstitutional. I am a huge supporter of our men and women who put that uniform on every day to protect the people of this great city, but transparency is desperately needed for our public figures." Dawkins also noted that Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey and the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association oppose this bill. The bill passed the House 162-38 and now goes to the Senate. ### Read more

 

Pa. Treasury could be holding your unclaimed property

(Jan 01, 2016)

Each year, the Pennsylvania Treasury receives millions of dollars of unclaimed property. It is estimated that roughly one in 10 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. Read more

 

PA Power Switch: Ask the right questions

(Dec 30, 2015)

In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your electricity – also known as your electric supplier. This means that you have the power to switch to a competing supplier who can offer the lowest price, or provide a specific service you want, such as “green” or renewable energy. Read more

 

Dawkins: Expungement bill passes the House

(Dec 11, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Oct. 27 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., today applauded House passage of a bill that would allow for criminal record expungement in certain situations. As the only African American and Philadelphian on the House Judiciary Committee, Dawkins played a crucial part in moving the bill out of committee for the historic floor vote in the House. "This legislation would directly benefit thousands of Philadelphians suffering from past convictions, which prohibit them from gainful employment and housing," Dawkins said. "Criminal record expungement will allow them to move past prior offenses and become productive citizens." The bill, S.B. 166, would allow a person convicted of a third- or second-degree misdemeanor, if at least 10 years have passed since they completed their sentence, to request the opportunity to appear before a judge and ask for an expungement. All violent offenses punishable by imprisonment of more than two years, and many others of a serious nature, would be prohibited from being subject to an order for limited access under the bill. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. ### Read more

 

Fall 2015 Newsletter

(Nov 17, 2015)

Fall 2015 Newsletter Read more

 

Dawkins Fights to Preserve Historic University

(Nov 10, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins is joined by hundreds of students to demand the Commonwealth do more to help Cheyney University – America’s oldest historically Black institution of higher education – as it struggles to survive in a time of budget crisis and faltering student enrollment. Read more

 

Dawkins: Expungement is a Second Chance

(Oct 27, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins applauds the House’s approval of a bill that would allow thousands of Pennsylvanians to have their criminal records expunged. S.B. 166 would allow a person convicted of a third- or second-degree misdemeanor, and who completed their sentence at least 10 years ago, to ask to appear before a judge to request an order for limited access of their criminal record. The bill would give a second chance to many people, including Philadelphians, who are struggling to find housing and employment due to their prior convictions. Read more

 

Dawkins: Mandatory Minimums Don't Work

(Oct 26, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins talks about the unintended consequences of a proposal that would re-enact mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug crimes. Read more

 

Dawkins: PA Mental Heath Funding Critical

(Sep 10, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins says it's time to restore funding cuts to the critical human service programs that help people with mental illness and intellectual disabilities, the homeless, and those looking for jobs. After years of budget cuts, Dawkins says it's time for Republicans to give these programs the funding they need to help all those who need it for the long run. Read more

 

Dawkins: Help Those in Need

(Sep 09, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins says it's time to restore funding cuts to the critical human service programs that help people with mental illness and intellectual disabilities, the homeless, and those looking for jobs. After years of budget cuts, Dawkins says it's time for Republicans to give these programs the funding they need to help all those who need it for the long run. Read more

 

Dawkins: PA Needs a Budget, Not Gimmicks

(Aug 26, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins talks about the Republican stunts and gimmicks they continue to pull instead of sitting down in good faith and negotiating a responsible budget. Read more

 

Dawkins: Education Funding Critical in PA Budget

(Jul 22, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins talks about the ongoing state budget impasse. Dawkins applauds Governor Tom Wolf's veto of the GOP budget because it failed to properly fund education and bring tax relief to homeowners. Read more

 

Dawkins Hosting Franford Community Day

(Jul 22, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins is hosting Frankford Community Day August 15th in Gambrel Playground, 1900 Wakeling Street, Philadelphia. Dawkins is bringing together members of the state, local and federal government and their services so people can find out more all in one place. The free event also features a gospel concert, food, carnival games, video games, bounce houses and more. Read more

 

Dawkins: Help All Pa. Students

(Jun 29, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins says it’s time to restore cuts to the public education system so that a child’s education no longer depends on their zip code. Dawkins adds the GOP budget plan doesn’t go far enough in bringing back the teachers, staff, extracurricular programs, and classes cut by the previous administration. He warns that the crisis facing Philadelphia public schools could easily spread to the rest of the state, so the time is now to fix public education funding in Pennsylvania. Read more

 

Dawkins: Fund Schools, Cut Property Taxes

(Jun 26, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins supports a comprehensive and sustainable budget plan that moves Pennsylvania in the right direction, invests in education, rebuilds the middle class. Read more

 

Dawkins on Victims Restitution

(Jun 23, 2015)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins discuses his amendment that reduces the amount of money that the Dept. of Corrections can remove from a prisoner's personal account to pay for restitution to victims. The amendment was agreed to by the Pa. House of Representatives. Read more

 

Dawkins applauds fee waiver for volunteer background checks

(Jun 10, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, June 10 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., today applauded Gov. Tom Wolf’s decision to waive fees for child abuse clearances and criminal background checks for volunteers working with children. Laws enacted last year to bolster how Pennsylvania responds to child abuse would have required volunteers to secure criminal history and child abuse clearances, costing $10 each, beginning July 1. Almost 300,000 volunteers are projected to seek the clearances in the first year. “We have many people who want to volunteer with a variety of programs to assist children,” Dawkins said. “These programs are an important part of many neighborhoods in Philadelphia, and I am thrilled we won’t force volunteers to pay out of pocket on top of donating their time.” Besides waiving fees for volunteers working with children, Wolf today also said the Department of Human Services and the state police will be reducing the cost of both the child abuse and criminal history record checks from $10 to $8 for all other applicants. ### Read more

 

Dawkins appointed to Judiciary Committee

(May 14, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, May 14 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., announced today that he was appointed to serve on the House Judiciary Committee for the remainder of the 2015-16 legislative session. The Judiciary Committee reviews bills pertaining to law enforcement and corrections. It provides oversight over a number of state agencies, including the Pennsylvania State Police, Attorney General's Office, Department of Corrections, the State Ethics Commission, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Office of General Counsel, Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing and the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission. Dawkins said that the committee also evaluates prison staffing and inmate populations and housing conditions. "I'm honored to receive an appointment to this important committee that plays a vital role in crafting legislation that will address critical criminal justice reform issues, such as ending the school-to-prison pipeline, reducing recidivism, and increasing opportunities for expungement," Dawkins said. "This appointment allows me to bring my constituents’ concerns about our law enforcement and judicial systems to the table as we debate these important issues." Dawkins also serves on the Health, Human Services, Urban Affairs and Aging and Older Adult Services committees. ### Read more

 

Spring 2015 Newsletter

(Apr 30, 2015)

Spring Newsletter Read more

 

Dawkins, HDPC discuss education funding

(Mar 09, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, March 9 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., served as co-chairman of today’s House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing on education funding in Philadelphia. Dawkins requested the hearing, citing the need for a fair education funding formula that would give students in urban districts an equal opportunity at a quality education in Pennsylvania. "As a new legislator, the oath of office is fresh in my mind," Dawkins said. "We have a constitutional obligation to provide a quality education to all Pennsylvania children. We need to do everything in our power to uphold that commitment, regardless of where students live." Those testifying at the hearing included: Pedro Rivera, acting secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education; Philadelphia City Council members Maria Quinones-Sanchez, 7th District, and Jannie Blackwell, 3rd District; Isaiah Thomas, associate dean of students at Sankofa Freedom Academy Charter School; Helen Gym, co-founder, Parents United for Public Education; Nelson Diaz, partner at Dilworth Paxson LLP; Brett Schaeffer, communications director and policy analyst at the Education Law Center; Dr. Joan Duvall-Flynn, Education Committee chair of the PA State Conference of NAACP Branches; and Bishop Dwayne Rouster, executive director of Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower & Rebuild (POWER). Dawkins said each panelist contributed a meaningful perspective on the commonwealth’s need Read more