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Dawkins: Philadelphia Energy Solutions Refinery bonuses are unacceptable

Dawkins applauds House passage of bill to address 'stop and go' nuisances

(Jun 27, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 27 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., applauded today's House passage of a bill that would address "stop and go" nuisance alcohol-selling businesses in Philadelphia. "I co-sponsored House Bill 1547 because I feel that greater control and a positive benefit to the commonwealth would result from giving local governments and the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board's Bureau of Licensing the ability to designate areas as saturated nuisance markets," Dawkins said. Under the bill, the LCB would look at the number of citations, police incidents, objections to liquor license renewals and conditional license agreements of eatery and restaurant licensees to determine if a zip code area should be deemed a saturated nuisance market location. In neighborhoods designated as saturated nuisance market areas, violations would be subject to enhanced penalties, fines and suspensions, and the Liquor Control Board would be able to remove licenses from those areas. Saturated nuisance market areas also would have added community input and would be subject to additional conditions such as transaction scan devices and enhanced food preparation requirements. The bill goes to the state Senate for consideration. ### Read more


Rep. Dawkins Spring 2017 Newsletter

(Jun 12, 2017)

Thank you for the opportunity to continue serving as your State Representative, it is truly an honor! I continue to focus my work on issues that I believe best represent the concerns and values we share as residents of Philadelphia. Understanding that the population of non-English speakers continues to increase, I've decided to include Spanish language information in my newsletter and contribute to make Pennsylvania a welcoming and inclusive place to live. Read more


Dawkins: Shots & Slots No Good for Philly

(Jun 08, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins speaks against expanding gaming in Pennsylvania. This legislation would potentially allow "Stop and Gos" in Philadelphia neighborhoods to add Video Gaming Terminals, further deteriorating the quality of life in the surrounding communities. Read more


Dawkins condemns gambling expansion bill

(Jun 08, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 8 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., voted against legislation that would dramatically expand gambling in Pennsylvania. Dawkins said the expansion would not only saturate the gambling market at the expense of the Pennsylvania Lottery and the senior citizens programs it supports, it would further threaten the safety and quality of life of residents in the neighborhoods he serves and throughout Philadelphia. House Bill 271 includes authorizing up to 30,000 locations for video gaming terminals at licensed liquor retailers and establishments by the end of 2018 and 40,000 by 2020, as well as gambling tablets or “iGaming” at Pennsylvania’s six international airports, including Philadelphia. Dawkins added the "stop and go" liquor businesses that have been such a problem in Philadelphia would be eligible and that there is no distribution formula for ensuring that Philadelphia neighborhoods are not saddled with the majority of machines. “My concern is about the stop and go locations. It is a fact that 75 percent of gamblers have a drinking disorder. We have a saturation of stop and go’s in Philadelphia and this constitutes another challenge for us,” Dawkins said. “When you live in communities like mine, when you see poverty, addiction and opioid abuse, you can’t understand how we are putting another potential problem in our city. “It’s impossible not to think about our Read more


Dawkins Securing ADA Compliance for Recovery Houses

(Jun 07, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins authored legislation that would require drug & alcohol recovery houses to be compliant with ADA requirements. Dawkins' legislation was offered as an amendment to a bill in a larger package addressing the state's opioid epidemic. Read more


Recovery-house bill that includes Dawkins’ amendment passes House

(Jun 07, 2017)

HARRISBURG, June 7 – The state House of Representatives today passed a bill (H.B. 119) that includes an amendment by Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., which would ensure that all drug and alcohol recovery houses in Pennsylvania comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Dawkins’ amendment would prohibit drug and alcohol recovery houses throughout Pennsylvania from discriminating against people with a physical or mental disability, including substance abuse disorders. "I am happy to see that the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is finally taking the issue of drug recovery seriously," Dawkins said. "I would like to thank Representative Kaufer for bringing the bill forward and for the opportunity to bring all of the new recovery houses in the Commonwealth in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990." To receive taxpayer funding and be deemed compliant, drug and alcohol recovery houses would have to meet the new standards set forth within the bill by the amendment. "Drug and alcohol recovery houses shelter and treat our most vulnerable residents," Dawkins said. "We have to make sure that they meet the same standards of accessibility as other medical facilities throughout the Commonwealth. This amendment would help to ensure that." The bill now goes to the state Senate. Read more


Dawkins introduces bill to eliminate state government language barriers

(Apr 19, 2017)

HARRISBURG, April 19 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., introduced a bill to require state departments and agencies, elected row offices, and the General Assembly to craft language access plans to better serve Pennsylvania residents with a limited ability to speak or write in English. House Bill 1241 would require these language access plans to identify all languages spoken by at least 3 percent of the population they serve, and provide vital documents and informational materials in those languages. It also requires that oral, in-person interpretive services be provided in languages encountered at least weekly. “All Pennsylvanians should have equal access to their government,” Dawkins said. “Our departments and agencies cannot fulfill their missions if there are 500,000 people in the state they can’t communicate with. This is a matter of protecting our residents’ health, rights and well-being.” The bill would require state agencies to submit their language access plans to the secretary of administration, who would provide central coordination and technical assistance. The secretary also would make these plans available online for the public to review. In addition to entities under the authority of the governor, the attorney general, auditor general and treasurer as well as the state House and Senate would be required to publish and implement language access plans under the bill. “As the population of non-English Read more


Dawkins denounces H.B. 741 for reviving unconstitutional mandatory minimums

(Mar 21, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 21 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., voiced his strong opposition to H.B. 741, which aims to revive mandatory minimum sentences for a number of drug-related offenses. The bill was reported out of the House Judiciary Committee today. "Bringing back mandatory minimums for non-violent drug offenses is bad policy, and the majority of the public supports putting this era behind us," Dawkins said. "We need to ensure that judges can use their discretion and expertise to best serve the public in each case that comes before their court, instead of making demands from Harrisburg." House Bill 741 seeks to revive mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes that were ruled unconstitutional in cases before both the Pennsylvania and U.S. supreme courts. It also would increase sentences for certain offenses. "We need to face head on the challenges that our communities face with drugs and addiction," Dawkins said. "Increasing the prison population and placing greater strain on the Commonwealth’s budget will only make it harder to deliver the solutions that our constituents are demanding." Dawkins has been a leader on criminal justice issues in the House, where he has spoken out against mandatory minimums and introduced legislation to bring needed reforms to the state’s sentencing laws. ### Read more


Dawkins testifies at Philadelphia City Council hearing on Pa.'s Health Choices program

(Mar 10, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, March 10 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., testified today before Philadelphia City Council’s Committee on the Disabled and Persons with Special Needs about Pennsylvania’s Health Choices program. At the hearing, Dawkins spoke about the state Department of Human Services procurement process for managed-care organizations. "Between the initial RFP and today, the process has been plagued by litigation, cancelled awards, scoring errors and lack of transparency," Dawkins said. "I have two primary concerns with these developments. First, that they run counter to some of the early lessons we’ve learned through the roll-out of the Medicaid expansion. And second, that this saga demonstrates the urgent need for reform to the way our state conducts procurement." Dawkins expressed concern that the process could impact health outcomes for patients, and increase costs for taxpayers. He also called for reforms to the procurement process. "The opaque nature of the department's requirements and scoring process has been cause for significant concern. It has resulted in the process being interrupted and contested by numerous parties at multiple stages. And even at this late date, the awards are being questioned," Dawkins said. "I am also troubled by the role the Commonwealth’s policy towards small and diverse business enterprises played in this process. This was reportedly one of the metrics that Read more


Dawkins condemns DA’s decision to seek life without parole for juveniles

(Mar 06, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, March 6 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., voiced his strong opposition to District Attorney Seth Williams’ decision to seek life without parole sentences in at least three cases with juvenile defendants. “Last year, District Attorney Williams did what was right, and announced that he would no longer pursue life without parole for those under 18 years old,” Dawkins said. “It is disheartening to see him go back on his word, and I condemn in the strongest terms his decision to revive a punishment the Supreme Court has called cruel and unusual.” In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory sentences of life without parole for juvenile offenders violate the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. The court later held in Montgomery v. Louisiana that its decision in Miller applied retroactively. Dawkins said as the courts began resentencing hearings, Williams announced that his office “will not be asking for cases going forward for life without the possibility of parole for people under the age of 18” in order “to give all of these individuals some light at the end of the tunnel.” “I hope that the district attorney returns to his original position, and provides these individuals – whose decades in prison began in their teenage years – what he once called ‘some light at the end of the tunnel,’” Dawkins said. Read more


Dawkins supports Wolf’s choice for deputy secretary for Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities

(Mar 02, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, March 2 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila, voiced his support today for Gov. Tom Wolf’s appointment of Kerry L. Kirkland to serve as the deputy secretary for Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities in the Pennsylvania Department of General Services. “I have introduced legislation to modify our state’s procurement system to encourage the participation of women and minority-owned enterprises, and I’ve worked with Governor Wolf on his administration’s reform efforts,” Dawkins said. “The creation of this position, designed to facilitate the governor’s efforts to improve state contracting for minority businesses, is a great step in the right direction. Deputy Secretary Kirkland’s experience in the public and private sectors make him an ideal choice, and I look forward to working with him.” According to the governor’s office, Deputy Secretary Kirkland will serve as the senior public official to represent and advise the administration and the department on all matters related to the development of statewide policies and programs to substantially increase the participation of small diverse businesses (SDBs) and small businesses (SBs) in commonwealth contracting and in Pennsylvania’s overall economy. In the 2015-16 session, Dawkins introduced H.B. 2166, which would amend the Procurement Code to encourage the participation of minority and women-owned Read more


Dawkins, Cephas to introduce bill to help grieving families

(Feb 28, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 28 – State Reps. Jason Dawkins and Morgan Cephas, both D-Phila., plan to introduce a bill that would require funeral homes to provide pricing information when requested and post that information on their website, if they have one, in an effort to assist and protect grieving families. "No grieving family should be required to spend lengthy hours of their time researching the cost of providing funeral services for their loved one," Dawkins said. "This legislation would allow families more time to focus on mourning their loss and celebrating the life of the deceased while providing peace of mind that they aren’t being taken advantage of." The bill would require funeral directors to provide a written or printed list of prices and goods offered at the beginning of any conversation about prices, professional services offered and goods. The lists also would include preparation of the body, use of facilities, use of automotive equipment and casket options. Cephas said, "During the loss of a loved one, it can be very difficult for some to manage dealing with their grief and for many in my district, the financial hardship that comes along with final expenses. Too often during this vulnerable time people are taken advantage of by bad actors who lack transparency in disseminating information to individuals and families. This legislation works to provide consumers with additional information needed to make cognizant decisions Read more


Dawkins supports school district’s improvement actions

(Feb 22, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 22 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., voiced his support today for reforms recently ordered by the School District of Philadelphia in 11 area schools intended to improve academic performance and student attendance. The schools were identified last October by the district as needing immediate academic attention and additional support to provide their students with high-quality learning opportunities. Two of the schools, Harding Middle School and John Marshall Elementary School, operate in Dawkins’ district. Harding is one of seven schools selected to receive investments of up to $1 million for school-specific improvement plans designed to keep and hire the best teachers, as well as work to increase engagement with school communities and parents. Harding’s self-developed improvement plan will use technology and personalized learning to reach their goals of increasing student attendance and achievement in math and literacy. “These interventions are an important step towards ensuring children have access to the best educational opportunities possible. I’m particularly enthusiastic that using technology and individualized learning plans are both points of emphasis for improving academic performance and student attendance,” Dawkins said. In addition to the planned investment in Harding, the school district will move three schools, including John Marshall, into the district’s Turnaround Network. The goal of the Read more


Dawkins, Grove seek bipartisan task force on Pa. juvenile life sentences

(Feb 06, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 6 – State Reps. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., and Seth Grove, R-York, will reintroduce their bipartisan resolution that would establish a task force on juvenile life sentences. Grove said, "With the U.S. Supreme Court ruling a life sentence for juveniles is cruel and unusual punishment, we as a state must develop policies to address it. I appreciate Representative Dawkins' leadership on this issue and look forward to working with him on ensuring we as a state can develop policies which conform to the court’s rulings." Dawkins said, "Pennsylvania faces a greater challenge than most states in complying with the Supreme Court's rulings, since our state is home to nearly 500 of the nation’s 2,000 'juvenile lifers.' I thank Representative Grove for his commitment to working in a bipartisan way on this vital criminal justice issue." In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Miller v. Alabama that mandatory life without parole sentences for people who were under 18 at the time of the offense are unconstitutional, and in January 2016, the court ruled in Montgomery v. Louisiana that its decision in Miller must be applied retroactively. The proposed task force would undertake a thorough and comprehensive review of laws, court decisions, policies and procedures. The lawmakers said this would ensure an efficient appeals and post-conviction relief process that would provide just and fair sentences that are Read more


Dawkins Legislative Priorities in New Session

(Jan 04, 2017)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins discusses his priorities for Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania after taking the Oath of Office for the 2017-18 legislative session. Read more


Dawkins sworn into second term in House of Representatives

(Jan 03, 2017)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., was sworn into office today during a ceremony at the Capitol for a second term as representative for the 179th Legislative District.The swearing-in ceremony marks the beginning of the 201st session of the General Assembly. The oath of office will be administered by Northampton County Judge Craig Dally. Read more


Dawkins elected vice chairman of Philadelphia Delegation in Pa. House

(Nov 15, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 15 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., has been elected as vice chairman of the Philadelphia County Delegation for the 2017-18 legislative session. Dawkins, who was elected to his second term representing the 179th Legislative District last week, was voted to the leadership post by fellow Philadelphia legislators from the Pennsylvania House. He will join the leadership team of delegation Chairwoman Rep. Maria Donatucci and Secretary/Treasurer Joanna McClinton. All three members are newly elected to these positions, which Dawkins said is a benefit. "We bring fresh energy to the leadership of the Philadelphia Delegation," Dawkins said. "I am looking forward to working with all the members of the delegation to move Philadelphia forward." ### Read more


Dawkins: Let Judges Judge

(Sep 29, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Jason Dawkins took to the House floor to oppose legislation changing mandatory minimum sentences for criminal acts. Dawkins feels strongly that locally elected judges should be left to decide each criminal case based on the facts and circumstances, and not have their judgment overridden by the legislature. Read more


Neilson and Dawkins fight to give poll workers a raise for Election Day

(Sep 21, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 21 – State Reps. Ed Neilson and Jason Dawkins, both D-Phila., urged their colleagues in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to amend legislation under consideration today to raise the minimum pay for poll workers on Election Day. Neilson’s amendment would have increased the minimum compensation for individuals serving as judges or inspectors of election from $75 to $150. Clerks and machine operators would have seen their minimum compensation raise from $70 to $140. “The hard-working men and women who serve our communities on Election Day are a vital component in preserving our democracy,” Neilson said. “Without them, the integrity and efficacy of our elections would be nonexistent.” Dawkins’ amendment would have set a fixed rate of pay for judges of election, inspectors of election, clerks and machine operators at a minimum of $10.10 per hour. "Poll workers have not seen a pay increase in 10 years, while legislators in Harrisburg get one every year," Dawkins said. "This is unfair, and the time has come to provide fair pay to the people who serve our communities and make sure our elections run effectively and efficiently." Philadelphia City Commissioner Lisa Deeley said she was disheartened to see efforts to ensure fair wages for hard-working poll workers throughout the state defeated. “One must consider the rationale of the legislators who voted no. Would they work a 14-hour day and earn $6.78 per hour as an inspector of election, or $7.14 Read more


Fall 2016 Newsletter

(Sep 14, 2016)

Fall 2016 Newsletter Read more