sdcadmin

About sdcadmin

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far sdcadmin has created 13 entries.

Senate votes to extend financial aid access for DREAMers

January 25th, 2018|

Jan. 24, 2018

OLYMPIA— The state Senate voted Wednesday to expand financial aid opportunities for DREAMers in Washington’s higher education system.

“This bill fulfills a promise we made to DREAMers in 2014. Four years ago, we made the statement that all Washington kids ought to have the full range of educational opportunity that we offer in this state,” said Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, the bill’s prime sponsor. “But that bill left some gaps and this legislation is designed to fill them.”

“I cannot think of a more appropriate statement for this Senate to make at a time when the futures of thousands of young people in our state and across the country are up in the air. In Washington, we recognize their value as students and as leaders in the only country they have ever known. They deserve the full promise that our state and this country have to offer.”

These students currently have access to the State Need Grant and are able to pay in-state tuition at Washington’s colleges and universities. Senate Bill 5074 simply extends that standard, allowing DREAMers to apply for the College Bound Scholarship and the Higher Education Loan Program.

Senate Bill 5074 passed on a 38 to 11 vote and now goes to the House for consideration.

“Every student in our state should have the opportunity to pursue their college dreams, regardless of their immigration status,” said Sen. Rebecca Saldaña, D-Seattle, a bill cosponsor. “By expanding eligibility of this last-dollar scholarship, this bill finally fulfills the state’s promise to Washington’s dreamers. At a time when dreamers and their families face uncertainty from the federal government, we will keep working to ensure that they are supported here in Washington state— in our communities, schools, and institutions.”

  • Permalink Gallery

    Frockt: UW dental school woes highlight statewide dental care crisis

Frockt: UW dental school woes highlight statewide dental care crisis

October 26th, 2017|

The recent financial problems within the University of Washington’s school of dentistry is a symptom of a larger statewide dental care crisis, state Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, said this week.

“The financial problems in the UW school of dentistry underscore one of the main health care issues facing the state. Numerous studies and reports have shown we simply do not have enough different avenues for people with dental needs to obtain the care that they need. The UW’s efforts at the Center for Pediatric Dentistry, while laudable, highlight the fact that the reimbursement rates for children and adults served by Apple Health is simply inadequate. The state moved to restore some adult Medicaid dental coverage in recent years, but not at nearly the reimbursement rates required for private practices to open and take these patients broadly. That is one part of the problem, but not the only part.

“Additionally, the state has failed to act on expanding the number of dental health providers that could work in community health centers by training and placing dental therapists as other states have done. Finally, the hold up on the capital budget is a serious problem. We have included in that budget funding for millions of dollars for buildouts of dental capacity for community health centers around the state as well as two major expansions of emergency dental clinics and residencies in both Olympia and Spokane in conjunction with local hospitals. These investments were made precisely so those lacking in dental care do not let their conditions fester and lead them to the most expensive emergency room care.

“This week there are thousands of people from our state seeking out dental care at the annual free health clinic at Key Arena. This is just emblematic of the overall problem we are facing in Washington. We have much work to do to address these needs. This upcoming session many of us, including myself, will be working with all parties to address these needs more comprehensively.”

  • Permalink Gallery

    Frockt welcomes Murray’s AHEAD Act to help homeless students

Frockt welcomes Murray’s AHEAD Act to help homeless students

October 13th, 2017|

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, speaks today during the rollout of a federal plan to aid homeless students that builds on legislation Frockt championed in the state Senate.

OLYMPIA — State-level programs to help the growing number of homeless students in public schools will be boosted by a federal-level program proposed by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, state Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, said this week. Frockt and numerous other stakeholders and guests participated in a roundtable discussion on Wednesday led by Murray at the Educare Early Learning Center in White Center.

“Sen. Murray’s efforts are very important for homeless students in Washington who face incredible hurdles that come without stable housing,” Frockt said. “The AHEAD Act will dovetail effectively with bills we passed in Olympia in 2014 and 2016 (the Homeless Education Outcomes Act and the Homeless Student Stability Act (HSSA)) to provide more in-school services for homeless students and actual housing stability grants to for high homeless districts to support struggling families. Everett School District today told us today that they have helped dozens of homeless students into stable housing due to the grant they received under the HSSA.”

Murray’s Affordable Housing for Educational Achievement (AHEAD) Act will boost and integrate federal support with community efforts around the country, including those now underway in Washington.
“Sen. Murray’s legislation will create an innovative but community based federal program to support school-housing partnerships similar to those supported by the Homeless Student Stability Act,” said Frockt, who championed the HSSA over three years in the Legislature.

At Wednesday’s roundtable, working but formerly homeless mothers spoke poignantly of their struggles in navigating uncoordinated services while trying to find stable housing. Problems ranged from long waiting lists, to excessive tenant application fees and moving from place to place, pushing their school-aged children to the limit. They emphasized what is well known: housing stability is critical to enabling children to succeed in school.

HSSA funding was maintained and funded in the most recent State Budget at $4 million over the next two years. The AHEAD Act is pending before the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.

Washington State Actuary reports good news for GET

September 10th, 2013|

OLYMPIA — This week the Office of the State Actuary reported at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Guaranteed Education Tuition (GET) Committee on the financial state of the GET program, a program that allows students and their families to prepay for credits at Washington public colleges and universities and be protected from future tuition increases. The Actuary reported that the financial health of the program is strong.

In the 2013-15 budget, Senate Democrats lobbied hard for increased higher education investment so that tuition increases could be limited.  As predicted, the increased state investment that allowed tuition to be held flat in 2013 further reduced the GET program’s already low risk of insolvency down to a minute 0.1 percent in the next 50 years.  These factors also increased the funded share of the GET liability from 81 percent as of June 30th, 2012, to 94 percent as of June 30th, 2013.

Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle and ranking Democratic member on the Senate Higher Education Committee, and Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, released the following statement on the actuarial report:

At the beginning of the 2013 session, there were calls in the legislature to close the GET program.  However, we knew from the beginning that an already safe GET program could be further strengthened if we increased state support for higher education and held the line on tuition. We made sure that the funding to help keep college affordable and accessible for students was included in the 2013-15 budget and this week we saw how that paid off in further strengthening the GET program.

“The GET program is a great way to help working and middle class families save for college.  We heard loud and clear from students, many of whom saved for their own educations with GET credits, that we needed to keep this program open. This program reduces the skyrocketing student debt loads that are abounding in this economy.

“By continuing to increase funding for public higher education, we’ll make sure that college can stay affordable and accessible for students while delivering the kind of world-class quality of education that they need to get the great jobs of the future. Doing so will also strengthen state programs, like GET, that help students and families pay for college.

“This news from the state actuary is a win for students and their families and we’re glad that Senate Democrats stood firmly on the side of strengthening this vital program.”

Article IX Committee Releases Report To Supreme Court

August 27th, 2013|

The Joint Select Committee on Article IX Litigation, charged with reporting to the Supreme Court on the Legislature’s progress towards fully funding basic education in compliance with the court’s McCleary v State decision, approved its final report today on a unanimous vote.

“When we passed the final budget in late June, I was asked how I thought we might report to the court on education funding,” said Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, co-chair of the committee. “I stated at the time that it was my goal not to downplay the positives or sugarcoat the negatives. I believe this report acknowledges the legitimate progress that we made in some areas – namely, transportation, all day kindergarten, and the transitional bilingual program.”

At the same time and for the first time, the report formally acknowledges just how much is left to do under current law targets for funding things like lower class sizes and the “nuts and bolts” of materials, supplies and operating costs (MSOC). For example, under current law the Legislature is supposed to provide an additional $857 million in MSOC funding to local districts by the 2015-16 school year. This is the core of what McCleary was about – that local districts are being forced to pay for the basic necessities of running our schools because the state wasn’t providing the necessary funding. The total enhancement in basic education, $982 million, was undeniably a positive. Yet, the Legislature has more than 85 percent of that total to fund in the next budget in this one basic education category (MSOC) alone.

“That MSOC obligation does not include current law targets in class size reduction – an additional $1 billion by 2018 – and all-day kindergarten – an additional $316 million by 2018 – as well as other parts of the basic education program,” said Frockt. “Some estimates put the necessary investment in the next budget cycle, 2015-17, as more than double what we invested in basic education this budget year, a year that saw us go into two special sessions to get an agreement. Meanwhile, we’re seeing issues crop up relating to class size reduction in local districts.”

The report also acknowledges that the 2013-15 budget, even while capturing the natural growth of a recovering economy, still relied on $521 million in fund transfers, revenue redirection and cuts, $295 million in savings from yet again suspending the voter-approved I-732 cost of living adjustments for teachers and eliminating the $204 million Opportunity Pathways/School Construction statutory related transfer requirement and backfilling that transfer with state debt. At the same time, the Legislature failed to extend even a portion of the existing B&O surcharge or close low-hanging fruit on the tax loophole side.

The financial challenge faced by the Legislature is historic and yet as State Education Board Chair Mary Jean Ryan indicated in a letter to the committee a few weeks ago – ‘it is doubtful that additional investments of the magnitude required to ensure full Constitutional compliance in 2018 can be sustained through a budget approach that relies heavily on transfers from the Capital budget, a collection of one-time savings, and a seemingly on-going policy of annually exempting the requirement of Initiative 732 to provide cost-of-living adjustments to educators in our State.’

“I support continued education reforms to improve outcomes for our kids,” said Frockt. “I worked across party lines this year to improve many of the education reform bills that were introduced this year. However, I also believe that the education reforms passed in 2009 and 2010 – all day kindergarten and class size reduction in particular – also contain great potential to improve student outcomes if they are fully funded. Clearly, we have a lot of work left to do on this historic challenge.”

Discussing education funding with League of Women Voters

July 9th, 2013|

On Monday night I had the chance to talk to the League of Women Voters on KSER Everett Independent Public Radio, along with Mukilteo teacher Mark Mains. We talked about education funding, the budget we just passed and what we need to do going forward to fulfill our obligation under the McCleary decision. This session’s budget was a start but it wasn’t the kind of historic change that we’ll need to undertake to fully fund our paramount duty of education.

I thought it was a fun and informative discussion and I’ve posted a link to the audio here in case you’re interested in listening to a recording of it. It’s about half an hour long, so the file might take a minute to load. Thanks to the League for inviting me to join their radio program and thanks to Mark for a great conversation!

TO DOWNLOAD, CLICK HERE

  • Permalink Gallery

    Sen. David Frockt on the failure of the transportation revenue package

Sen. David Frockt on the failure of the transportation revenue package

June 29th, 2013|

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, released the following statement on the failure of the Senate to pass a transportation funding package:

“I was extremely disappointed that the Senate did not pass a transportation funding package in the 2013 session. This funding package was supported by the business community, by labor groups, by the environmental community and by local governments because of its broad support for important job-creation projects across the state. It was passed out of the House on a bipartisan vote but the Republican majority in the Senate blocked it from moving forward.

“The package would have created 100,000 jobs state-wide and would have provided a funding option to prevent devastating cuts to King County Metro. It would have funded key projects right here in the 46th district, like major improvements to State Route 522, an important pedestrian bridge over I-5 at the Northgate Transit Center, completion of the Burke-Gilman Trail and pedestrian safety improvements along Lake City Way and Bothell Way, among others.

“The final coup-de-grace was the procedural vote today to block its consideration. All but one Democrat voted yes; all of the members of the Republican dominated Majority Coalition Caucus voted against proceeding.

“I thank the leaders in the Senate and the House who helped the package move as far as it did and I look forward to working with them at reviving this proposal to find ways to sustain and support local transit, create construction jobs and strengthen our long-term economic future.”

Frockt statement on operating budget

June 28th, 2013|

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, released the following statement on the operating budget which today passed the Senate:

“There is no question that we have done much better for higher education than in recent memory.  Holding the line on tuition requires additional direct state support to the colleges. Senate Democrats, from the first day of session, took the position that we had to reinvest in direct state support in order to do better on tuition, and we did.

“On K-12 and McCleary, we have a new investment of about $950 million. Expanding all-day kindergarten from 22% to 44% of our schools is a good step forward. I was disappointed that we were not able to secure any dedicated sources of new revenue – from unproductive tax exemptions, for example – to meet our long term educational obligations.

“I sat on the Joint Task Force on Education Funding and we developed a plan to fulfill our McCleary obligation that required about $1.4 billion this year and over $4.5 billion in new education dollars by 2018 – even more than $4.5 billion if you include issues like teacher compensation, which the state needs to do more to help with. This year, we were able to provide slightly less than one billion in McCleary funding through a recovering economy, lowering caseloads, suspending programs and a one-time shift of the $277 million from the public works account. This is not structural change.  This is piecemeal. We will NOT find $4.5 billion or more of K-12 funding through such accounting going forward. We need long term finance changes in this state that will require additional revenue and structural changes in the budget. Both sides, including ours, need to be willing to reexamine old assumptions to move forward together on this historic challenge.”

Testifying before King County Council on funding transit

June 13th, 2013|

I testified before the King County Council in support of passing a state-wide transportation package that includes funding for local transit. Declining sales tax revenue will force King County Metro to cut 17 percent of their service unless we pass a transportation package to provide more revenue for Metro. My testimony begins about 15 seconds into the clip below:

 

Get Microsoft Silverlight

  • Permalink Gallery

    Helping Minnesota follow Washington’s path in environmental protection

Helping Minnesota follow Washington’s path in environmental protection

May 22nd, 2013|

In 2011, Washington became the first state in the union to ban coal-tar sealants by passing HB 1721, which I sponsored when still in the House of Representatives. When it rains, the storm water runoff carries with it chemicals from these sealants that can be seriously harmful to the environment. I was glad to hear that Minnesota just joined Washington in banning these sealants.

I had the opportunity to work with key environmental stakeholders in getting this environmental protection into law, and I’m honored that Friends of the Mississippi River recognized me in their letter announcing the passage of the legislation:

 

 

To whom it may concern,

In a major (an unexpected) victory for water quality and public health, the Minnesota Legislature passed a bill phasing out the use of coal tar sealants in Minnesota.

Effective January 1st 2014, no person shall apply coal tar sealant products on asphalt-pavement surfaces, nor sell a coal tar sealant product that is formulated or marketed for application on asphalt-paved surfaces. This bill was passed on May 20th, and is now awaiting Governor Dayton’s signature.

A link to FMR’s e-newsletter article on the subject is available here:

http://www.fmr.org/news/current/coal_tar_ban_passes-2013-05

The bill was introduced on the floor of the House of Representatives by Representative Rick Hansen. It passed and was included in the House’s version of the Omnibus Legacy Bill. The Senate version of the Omnibus Legacy Bill did not include the provision, but it survived conference committee and was in the final version of both bills. The House and Senate passed the Omnibus Legacy Bill on Monday, May 20th 2013.

Special thanks to our friends in the USGS, The State of Washington, Senator David Frockt, local sealant contractors, Baylor University, and the many environmental researchers and educators who provided the information that made this victory possible.

Trevor A. Russell

Watershed Program Director

Friends of the Mississippi River

360 North Robert Street, Suite 400

Saint Paul, MN 55101