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Philadelphia House Delegation: police accountability reforms are coming

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

 

Youngblood, Dawkins: Pa. must strengthen sibling visitation rights

(Feb 04, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 4 – State Reps. Rosita C. Youngblood and Jason Dawkins, both D-Phila., have introduced legislation to strengthen sibling visitation rights and recognize the importance of these relationships on the emotional and psychological development of children. The Philadelphia lawmakers say their proposal (H.B. 338) would simply provide standing in court to siblings who wish to petition for visitation rights, similar to grandparents' rights already provided under state law. The decision to grant sibling visitation rights would still rest in the hands of a judge. Youngblood, who introduced the legislation last session, said studies have documented the importance of sibling relationships in the development and growth of children. She said the bond between siblings is unique and powerful, and provides a structure beyond all other relationships critical to a child's development. "The state already acknowledges the importance of sibling relationships with regard to adoption and foster care, by doing everything possible to keep siblings together in those difficult circumstances," Youngblood said. "The same protection should be extended to all children separated from their siblings, especially in situations where the family structure has significantly changed. Once sibling relationships are established, the bond is an essential part of a child's life and we need to make sure that they have an opportunity to keep Read more

 

Winter 2015 Newsletter

(Feb 03, 2015)

Winter 2015 Newsletter Read more

 

Dawkins named to five key House committees

(Jan 20, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 20 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., announced he has been appointed to serve on five standing committees in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives during the 2015-16 legislative session. "I am eager to take on these responsibilities," Dawkins said. "The committee process is an integral part of how a bill becomes a law." Dawkins was named to the Commerce, Health, Human Services, Urban Affairs, and Aging and Older Adult Services committees. "These committee appointments will allow me to address key issues that are facing my district, such as strengthening our commercial corridors and improving services and protections for our senior population," Dawkins said, "I also look forward to bringing my experiences working with Philadelphia’s City Council to the Urban Affairs Committee, where I will not only be an advocate for the City of Philadelphia, but seek to address the challenges facing urban areas throughout our commonwealth. I look forward to getting to work, and being a voice on the wide range of issues, such as health care and development, that impact our neighborhoods." ### Read more

 

Dawkins to host town hall meeting Jan. 29

(Jan 07, 2015)

PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 5 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., will host a town hall meeting from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29 at Second Baptist Church, 1801 Meadow St.Dawkins said he will inform constituents about services available through his office and he will seek input and feedback from constituents on issues facing the Frankford neighborhood.There is no need to RSVP for this event. For more information, please call Dawkins’s district office at 215-744-7901 or visit the office at 4915 Frankford Avenue.The event is open to the public and media coverage is invited.### Read more

 

Dawkins sworn in to first term in House of Representatives

(Jan 06, 2015)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 6 – State Rep. Jason Dawkins, D-Phila., today took the oath of office for his first term as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives serving the 179th Legislative District. "I am passionate about public service and eager to make government responsive to my constituents," Dawkins said. "My main goal will be to improve the lives of citizens in our neighborhoods. While working on state level issues, I will always consider how each bill affects the residents of my district on a local level.”Before his election into the legislature, Dawkins served as recreation liaison and special projects director for Philadelphia’s 7th Councilmanic District, where he led the redevelopment of nine recreational facilities in previously underserved neighborhoods. As a senior legislative aide to Councilwoman Maria Quiñones Sánchez, he helped craft legislation to create a city land bank to streamline the sale and productive use of roughly 40,000 vacant properties in the city.Dawkins’ legislative priorities include ensuring that all children have access to the best educational opportunities; public safety, especially for children; fighting poverty; job creation; improving transportation infrastructure; and properly funding mass transit.His constituent service office is located at 4915 Frankford Ave. and is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is 215-744-7901.Constituents can visit his Read more

 

Hope for Hannah legislation becomes law

(Dec 28, 2014)

Pennsylvania's children have a new protection thanks to Hannah's Law, named after Hannah Ginion of Bristol Township, who suffered from the rare genetic disorder called Krabbe disease. Hannah passed away on Dec. 28, 2014. Read more

 

Beware IRS phone scams

(Nov 29, 2014)

Recently, my office received information about phone calls received statewide in which an individual claimed to be from the IRS and demanded payment on taxes owed. Please be aware – this phone call is a scam, and the IRS will NOT initiate first contact with you on the phone about taxes owed. Always be wary of unsolicited phone calls in which an individual claims to represent a business or government entity and aggressively demands payment. The IRS does not operate this way and will always send official correspondence through the mail to make its first contact with you. Read more

 

HEROIN: What you need to know about Pennsylvania’s Good Samaritan Law

(Nov 24, 2014)

Landmark legislation passed during the 2013-14 Legislative Session now allows first responders, including law enforcement, fire fighters, EMS or other organizations the ability to administer a medication known as naloxone, a life-saving opioid-overdose antidote. The law also allows individuals such as friends or family members who might be in a position to help a person at risk of experiencing an opioid-related overdose to obtain a prescription for naloxone. Additionally, Act 139 provides immunity from prosecution for those responding to and reporting overdoses. Read more

 

In the News: Dept. of Human Services name change better reflects mission

(Nov 24, 2014)

House Bill 993, which renamed the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, was signed into law as Act 132 during the 2013-14 Legislative Session. According to advocates for the change, renaming the department was long overdue, and as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, the name change better reflects the department’s mission. Read more

 

Do you need help paying heating bills?

(Nov 24, 2014)

As we get into the coldest months of winter, many people are worried about affording their increasing heating costs. If you or someone you know qualifies, my office could help you take advantage of a program set up to curtail high home heating bills. Read more

 

Apply for health insurance by Feb. 16

(Nov 23, 2014)

The open enrollment period for health care coverage is now underway. If you or someone you know is in need of health insurance, please consider visiting the federal Marketplace at www.HealthCare.gov. Applicants have until Feb. 16, 2015 to enroll. Everyone, no matter what age, needs health insurance. A random accident or unexpected illness could put you in danger of losing not only your good health but also your financial future. Read more

 

Sign up for the Do-Not-Call list

(Nov 22, 2014)

To register for the Pennsylvania and national do-not-call lists, visit http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/dnc.aspx or call 1-888-777-3406. Registration is free. There is a rolling enrollment; individuals may sign up at any time and the registration is good for five years. After that, you can re-enroll. And, signing up on Pennsylvania's list automatically adds those numbers to the national do-not-call list. Read more

 

Weatherizing your home saves you money on energy bills

(Nov 20, 2014)

Last year’s bitterly cold winter left many people struggling to pay higher-than-normal home energy bills. As we head toward the coldest months of the year, there are ways you can winterize your home to keep heat in, cold air out, and money in your pocket. Many businesses offer professional home energy audits, but you can perform your own by inspecting areas where heat escapes and cold air leaks in. Read more

 

Check out charities before making holiday donations

(Nov 20, 2014)

While it may be the season for charitable giving, scammers don't take a holiday. The Pennsylvania Department of State offers a simple way to ensure a charity is legitimate and that your donation will be used properly. Read more