Monthly Archives: March 2017

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    Frockt: Senate’s capital budget makes historic investments in education

Frockt: Senate’s capital budget makes historic investments in education

March 30th, 2017|

The capital construction budget passed by the Senate provides for a historic $1.1 billion in school construction and public education investments, Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, said today. The landmark budget bill passed unanimously and now moves to the House for further negotiations in the state’s two-year budgeting process.

“This budget makes an unprecedented investment of nearly $1.1 billion in the K-12 system, which will result in new schools and classrooms around the state in both urban and rural areas,” said Frockt, the lead Democratic budget writer for the capital budget. “This is several hundred million dollars more than any recent budget and the highest amount invested in K-12 school construction since the McCleary decision came down.”

The budget includes specific investments requested by Seattle Public Schools this year to fund new school construction and additional classrooms. When combined with funding in the School Construction Assistance Program, Seattle would realize nearly $36 million in additional school construction funding from the state over the next two years.

“The budget also adds significantly to the governor’s proposed budget to fund critical investments in our four-year universities and in our community and technical college system,” Frockt said. “This is a budget that lays the foundation for a promising future for generations of Washington students to come.”

The budget provides $60 million for stormwater improvements, $30 million for the Clean Energy Fund, and $80 million for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program based on the program’s priority schedule — all uncommonly high allocations for Senate budgets in recent years.

“The budget adds to our existing capacity for mental health treatment by funding crisis walk-in centers and additional low- and no-barrier housing beds among other mental health investments,” Frockt added. “It provides nearly $100 million in housing funding, including $95 million in the Housing Trust Fund, with specific funding for an innovation grant in high-need areas like Seattle. It also provides $16 million in grants to improve dental capacity in underserved communities across our state to improve the ability of thousands of low-income Washingtonians to see a dentist through our network of Community Health Centers.

“While this budget doesn’t address all our critical needs to the extent I had sought, it is a positive budget overall that moves us forward in critical areas, particularly in education and mental health. Its overwhelming bipartisan support bodes well for the Legislature as we move toward final negotiations over our education funding plan and needed capital investments. The public wants the two parties to work together to solve problems and I think this budget shows that the two parties can do that.”

Through tiny homes, students focus on homelessness

March 27th, 2017|

Today I had the opportunity to tour some tiny homes being built as an option for housing our homeless citizens. While on tour of the Workforce Board’s Career and Technical Education Showcase of Skills event, I saw impressive work by our students from 19 Washington schools.

The goal of the competition was to build the best tiny house that could be used to help communities support their homeless populations. These structures are sturdy and energy-efficient buildings which can be moved to different communities after the competition. The guidelines for building these unique homes was that they had to be less than 100 square feet and designed for shared communities with central buildings that provide communal bathrooms and cooking areas.

I’m working hard to support innovation grants within this area in the Senate Capital Budget. I expect some of these grants will be available to the communities of our state in order to help with housing.

 

 

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    Frockt: Temple vandalism ‘an affront to all tolerant, decent-minded citizens’

Frockt: Temple vandalism ‘an affront to all tolerant, decent-minded citizens’

March 10th, 2017|

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, issued this statement today in response to anti-Semitic, Holocaust-focused vandalism overnight at the Temple De Hirsch Sinai in Seattle.

“I condemn in the strongest possible terms this hateful attack against the Temple De Hirsch and against the entire Jewish community. This is really an affront to all the tolerant, decent-minded citizens of Seattle and our state who embrace and support all religions and communities.

“We must stand against all intolerance, not just attacks against the Jewish community but against attacks on people of any faith or ethnic group, be they Sikhs, Muslims, Jews or anyone else.

“I will be working with my colleagues in the Legislature, of all faiths and communities, to stand in solidarity against such acts of hatred and fundamentally un-American activity.”

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    Frockt: Levy cliff bill a good step forward, but much more work to do to get McCleary done

Frockt: Levy cliff bill a good step forward, but much more work to do to get McCleary done

March 8th, 2017|

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, issued this statement today following the Senate’s passage of legislation to postpone the so-called levy cliff that would have resulted in massive budget cuts to K-12 schools across the state.

“This is good news that should provide tremendous relief to our schools around the state and all the children they serve. It should address at least part of the immediate funding crisis in Seattle Public Schools when signed by the governor.”

“We have much more work to do to ensure full and fair funding for all our schools, and this legislation gives us the breathing room to focus on that considerable task.

“As Democratic lead negotiator on the Capital Budget, I continue to work on the statewide school construction budget, which I anticipate being the largest in state history.  We are working in a bipartisan way to provide the educational facilities around Washington that our students need and deserve.”

Olympian: Find middle ground on police use of deadly force

March 6th, 2017|

Senate Bill 5073 — Sen. David Frockt’s legislation to update state law on the use of deadly force — should move forward, the Olympia said Sunday in an editorial. You can read the editorial here.