Delaware Public Media

James Dawson

Political reporter/news anchor

James Dawson has covered state politics and government for Delaware Public Media and served as its Weekend Edition Saturday host since 2012. He came to Delaware from his home state of Idaho, where he served as a public affairs reporter and news director for the commercial radio network Inland Northwest Broadcasting. His reporting experience included state and local government, arts and culture, crime, and agriculture.

James contributed features and reports to the Northwest News Network, a collection of public radio stations across the Pacific Northwest. He has a bachelor’s degree in broadcasting and digital media from the University of Idaho.

When James isn’t haunting the corridors of Legislative Hall, you might find him brushing up on his photography skills along Delaware's coast, anticipating the Seattle Mariners' next rebuilding season or shamelessly singing while driving all over the First State.

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Delaware Public Media

State employee health benefits won’t see an increase in cost for the time being under an agreement reached between state lawmakers and the Markell Administration.

Instead, the State Employee Benefits Committee will vote in premium increases after an open enrollment period in May, though they will be lower than originally proposed.

Delaware Public Media

Those with disabilities in Delaware could save for their future without losing federal benefits under a new bill in Delaware.

Legislation would create a tax-exempt savings account under the federal ABLE Act that Congress passed last year.

Delaware Public Media

Gov. Jack Markell is ordering a moratorium on all new charter school applications for the 2016-17 school year.

Markell made the announcement at Thursday’s State Board of Education Meeting alongside calling for a review of all school programs and assess demand for different subjects.

Both initiatives came from a preliminary report from the Wilmington Education Advisory Committee, which Markell says need to be applied statewide.

Delaware Public Media

Anti death penalty advocates kicked off their latest repeal campaign in earnest at Legislative Hall Wednesday.

About 30 people showed up to a press conference held in the Senate chamber to officially announce the bill, which would repeal Delaware’s death penalty, but not retroactively to those already on death row.

Tom Byrne/Delaware Public Media

The overhaul of Delaware’s Supreme Court is nearly complete as senators unanimously confirmed Collins “CJ” Seitz to sit on the state’s highest judicial body.

Delaware Public Media

Open government advocates are renewing their fight to make Delaware’s universities more transparent.

Rep. John Kowalko (D-Newark South) introduced legislation that would require the University of Delaware and Delaware State University to fully comply with the state’s Freedom of Information Act – including their Board of Trustees.

Delaware Public Media

Despite the sunny sky and warm spring temperatures in Dover, it was a gloomy start for the General Assembly reconvening after a month of early budget hearings.

The Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council or DEFAC released its latest revenue projections Monday, reporting a $45 million dollar downtick that took lawmakers by surprise.

Karl Malgiero/Delaware Public Media

Delaware’s minimum wage could be among the highest in the nation under a new bill set to be introduced in the state Senate.

Sen. Robert Marshall’s (D-Wilmington West) proposal would hike the state’s minimum wage to $10.25 per hour by 2019 and tie the figure to inflation from 2019 on.

Delaware Public Media

An effort to ban electronic cigarettes or e-cigs from indoor public places is back before lawmakers this year.
Rep. Debra Heffernan (D-Bellefonte, Claymont, Edgemoor), an environmental toxicologist, is offering the same legislation she pushed a year ago, saying that cancer-causing elements are emitted in vapor expelled by the user.

Delaware Public Media

Two New Castle County lawmakers are calling on DNREC to block a permit application for a concrete crushing operation just south of Wilmington.

Senate Majority Leader David McBride and Rep. James Johnson told state officials to reject a permit application from Diamond Materials LLC for a roving cement crusher at 200 Marsh Lane.