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Coronavirus Resources

March 18th, 2020|

Dear Friends and Neighbors of the 46th Legislative District,

My thoughts go out to you and your families as you work to keep yourselves and your families healthy during this coronavirus outbreak. We are all deeply saddened for the families who have suffered loss or who are currently suffering.

I’m sure that many of you are scared, worried and stressed as we all try to get through this unprecedented event. It can be hard in times like these to know where to turn, and where to find the most up-to-date and accurate information.

I wanted to share the website created by our state government to help keep all our communities informed. You can find it here: www.coronavirus.wa.gov

This website contains a wealth of information from Governor Jay Inslee’s office, our state agencies, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and more. I’ve included a lot of the helpful information – from tools for handling stress, to resources for our out-of-work neighbors, to tips for talking to kids. But I encourage you to explore this website for yourselves, and to pass it on to others in our community who have questions.

In addition, I have heard from many people who are being laid off from their hospitality and restaurant jobs as well as the owners of these establishments who are seeking assistance to cover payroll or otherwise maintain their business.   There is information further down on the SBA and other resources that should become available, I hope very shortly.

What to do if you are ill

If you are ill with fever and a cough or non-acute shortness of breath, stay home. If you are unsure of how to care for yourself or are concerned about your condition, call your health care provider for advice. If you feel you need to visit your doctor, call them first. Keep yourself separated from other people and animals in your home. Cover your coughs and sneezes and wash your hands often.

Leave some for your neighbor – don’t buy more than you need!

Washington State’s supply chains are operating normally, yet consumers are overstocking and clearing store shelves of the items that sick neighbors, doctors, dentists and emergency response personnel need to stay safe. Health experts emphasize the best way to protect yourself from infection is through washing your hands frequently and limiting contact with others, not by overstocking certain supplies. Leave some for the folks who need them most!

Supporting affected employers and workers

State agencies have been working with federal agencies, employers and workers to support businesses and workers affected by COVID-19.

Resources for you and your family

Stopping the spread of coronavirus is an effort we all play a part in. Learn how to protect and care for yourself and your family, cope with feelings of isolation or anxiety, determine whether you or a loved one is at higher risk from COVID-19, and find resources to get the care you need.

As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email or phone. While my staff and I are practicing social distancing and working from home, we are monitoring calls that come into our Olympia office line: 360-786-7690.

Please keep yourselves, your families and your neighbors safe and healthy.

David

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    Senate capital budget proposal prioritizes homelessness, environment and school construction

Senate capital budget proposal prioritizes homelessness, environment and school construction

February 20th, 2020|

The Senate Democrats’ proposed supplemental capital budget makes strong investments in housing, shelter, environmental cleanups and school construction.

“Supplemental capital budgets are always much smaller than in main budget years,” said Sen. David Frockt, vice chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and the Senate’s lead capital budget writer. “This year our budget only had $78 million in bond capacity. Nevertheless, our budget proposal spends nearly one-third of that capacity on shelter and affordable housing, reflecting Senate Democrats’ priority to assist our local partners who continue to struggle with the crisis.”

The proposal would provide $25 million to help alleviate homelessness — the largest investment of its kind ever in a supplemental capital budget. Of that funding, $15 million would go to increasing shelter capacity in areas where large numbers of people are experiencing chronic homelessness. The remaining $10 million is dedicated to maintaining affordability of existing housing.

“The supplemental capital budget we’ve proposed is a true reflection of the needs of Washington state,” said Sen. Mark Mullet, vice chair of the capital budget. “Our communities need more access to affordable housing and to shelter beds. This investment will make a difference in the lives of our most vulnerable neighbors.”

These investments build upon last year’s capital budget, which invested records sums in housing and behavioral health treatment facilities.

The proposal invests $31.2 million in toxics cleanup and stormwater assistance to local governments, using funds generated by a measure passed during the 2019 legislative session. This bill sponsored by Frockt changed the way petroleum companies are taxed under the Model Toxics Control Act.

School construction projects receive $58.3 million statewide, and an additional $15 million funds is included for seismic safety improvements in K-12 schools.

The full proposal can be found here. The budget will be heard at 3:30 p.m. today in the Senate Ways & Means Committee.

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    Washington Conservation Voters Selects Senator David Frockt as 2019 Legislator of the Year

Washington Conservation Voters Selects Senator David Frockt as 2019 Legislator of the Year

August 26th, 2019|

Washington Conservation Voters, Washington’s political voice for the environment, is proud to announce that it has selected Senator David Frockt (D-46), as its 2019 Legislator of the Year. Sen. Frockt’s steadfast leadership earned him WCV’s highest honor. In the 2019 legislative session, he successfully led efforts to hold the state’s largest polluters accountable, invest in projects that restore habitat and promote clean air and clean water, and reduce dangerous toxic pollution in communities across the state. Sen. Frockt was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 and appointed to the Senate in 2011, where he is now serving his third term.

“Sen. Frockt came to the Legislature with a deep commitment to clean energy, tackling climate change, and protecting our public lands,” said Shannon Murphy, President of Washington Conservation Voters. “From his first day in Olympia, Sen. Frockt has worked tirelessly to ensure Washington is investing in environmental protection across the state. So many of this year’s environmental wins could not have happened without his leadership.”

“In what was one of the Legislature’s most successful sessions for the environment, Sen. Frockt is responsible for a remarkable accomplishment — holding big polluters responsible to pay for cleaning up toxic sites, protecting Washingtonians’ health, and putting the state on a path toward a cleaner future,” said Darcy Nonemacher, Government Affairs Director for Washington Conservation Voters. 

Since he took office, Senator Frockt’s achievements include:

  • Reforming the landmark “polluter pay” law to reduce toxic pollution, the Model Toxics Control Act (2019)
  • Helping shepherd through passage of Washington’s landmark 100% Clean Electricity Standard (2019)
  • Securing new funding to protect working forests that support local economies and provide benefits like clean water
  • Passing a groundbreaking law to ban toxic coal tar sealants
  • Raising investments in Puget Sound and orca recovery projects 

“As Washingtonians, we are so lucky to have access to some of the most beautiful mountains, forests, rivers, and waters in the country,” said Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle). “My goal since day one has been to protect these treasures for all Washingtonians. This year, we were in a position to reform and restructure Washington’s toxic cleanup law in a way that hadn’t been done since the voters first passed it in 1988. I am deeply honored to be the Washington Conservation Voters Legislator of the Year – but our success is the result of hard work by a broad statewide coalition and all my colleagues who stepped up and took the right vote in the face of intense pressure from big oil.”

Senator Frockt is vice chair of Senate Ways & Means Committee and Capital Budget chair. He represents the 46th District, covering parts of North Seattle, Kenmore, and Lake Forest Park.

Gov. Inslee signs Cascade Care bill

May 13th, 2019|

Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle) released the following statement today after Gov. Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5526, which creates the Cascade Care health plan — the first public health insurance option in the nation.

“Very simply, Cascade Care is designed to lower premiums and deductibles for families and people purchasing insurance on the individual market. Washingtonians need coverage that they can use to stay healthy and to insure that they are not in financial distress if they face a serious health related event.

This important bill moves us forward in our ongoing effort to provide high quality, more affordable health insurance to every Washingtonian, and I hope it will be an example to other states on what can be done to improve their systems.”

You can learn more about Frockt’s bill here.

Interview with KIRO Radio about preventing school shootings

May 9th, 2019|

A segment about Sen. David Frockt’s SB 5027, a bill to help prevent school shootings, was featured May 8 on The Dave Ross Show. Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill earlier this week, on the same day another tragic school shooting occurred in Colorado.

Frockt told reporter Hanna Scott that his bill could save lives.

The bill clarifies the application of extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs) to minors, and is designed to keep firearms out of the hands of minors who are at a high risk of hurting themselves or others during a behavioral health crisis or through potential violent behavior.

The bill allows for people to apply for ERPOs for people under the age of 18. If court approved, an order would prohibit the minor from accessing, controlling, purchasing, possessing or receiving a firearm. The minor’s parent or guardian would be notified of their legal obligation to safely secure any firearms.

You can hear the full segment here.

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    Inslee signs Frockt bill designed to help prevent school shootings

Inslee signs Frockt bill designed to help prevent school shootings

May 7th, 2019|

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill today to update Washington’s Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) statute so that it’s more applicable to minors.

Senate Bill 5027 was sponsored by Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle). The terms of the bill came at the unanimous recommendation of the Mass Shooting Workgroup, which met during the 2018 interim after the shooting in Parkland, Fla. and school shooting incidents in Washington. 

“We are unfortunately raising a generation of children who are the lockdown generation, who are used to active shooter drills,” Frockt said. “We’re trying to prevent these shootings through a variety of avenues, including better threat assessment, improved social and emotional supports and by removing access to weapons from the equation for those exhibiting threats to classmates.”

The bill clarifies the application of ERPOs to minors, and is designed to keep firearms out of the hands of minors who are at a high risk of hurting themselves or others during a behavioral health crisis or through potential violent behavior.

The bill allows for people to apply for ERPOs for people under the age of 18. If court approved, an order would prohibit the minor from accessing, controlling, purchasing, possessing or receiving a firearm. The minor’s parent or guardian would be notified of their legal obligation to safely secure any firearms.

The Mass Shooting Workgroup, comprised of representatives from all parts of Washington, heard extensively about how the ERPO process can and should be applied when warranted, and that it should be extended to these youth with notification to their parents or guardians.  This common sense measure drew bipartisan support in the Senate.

According to a report by Everytown for Gun Safety, shooters exhibited warning signs indicating that they posed a danger to themselves or others before shooting in about half of all mass shootings.

“We know that in the majority of cases, school shooters obtain firearms from their homes, or the homes of a friend or a relative,” Frockt said. “We know that these troubled teens often exhibit warning signs. This bill addresses both of those trends by making sure that minors who are in crisis don’t have easy access to guns.”

Background

Frockt introduced the original ERPO statute as a bill in 2015. After the legislation stalled for two years, Washington voters enacted an ERPO initiative in 2016, with an overwhelming 69 percent of the vote. The measure had strong support in nearly every corner of the state.

Washington was the fourth state in the country to enact such a law. Nine other states have since passed similar measures. The ERPO statute allows people to petition the court to remove someone’s firearms if that person poses a significant danger to themselves or others.

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    Historic ‘public option’ healthcare bill passes Legislature, heads to Inslee’s desk

Historic ‘public option’ healthcare bill passes Legislature, heads to Inslee’s desk

April 28th, 2019|

— A bill passed April 27 by the Washington State Legislature would create a public option for health care coverage, available through Washington’s Health Benefit Exchange. The plan would be known as Cascade Care, and would be the first public health insurance option in the nation.

Senate Bill 5526, sponsored by Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle), and led in the state House of Representatives by Rep. Eileen Cody, will give Washingtonians who purchase healthcare coverage on the individual insurance market an option that would decrease the cost of premiums, copays and other out-of-pocket expenses. Gov. Jay Inslee also supported the legislation, and worked with lawmakers throughout the process.

The bill passed with a 56-41 vote in the House, and a 27-21 vote in the Senate.

“Under the current administration in Washington DC, health care policy has gone backwards,” Frockt said. “Their policies have led to dramatic increases in premiums and deductibles for our residents who don’t have employer sponsored coverage rely on coverage from our health benefit exchange.”

Cascade Care will lend predictability by establishing standard benefit packages that are easier for consumers to understand and navigate, and will lower cost sharing — which includes deductibles and copays. The plan will also make cost sharing more transparent and predictable.

“Cascade Care is the next step in affordable and accessible health care for everyone and further demonstrates the Democratic desire to ensure access to care. It is that dedication that has led to the state’s lowest uninsured rate ever and a guarantee of essential health benefits to keep Washington families healthy,” said Rep. Eileen Cody, Chair of the House Health Care & Wellness Committee.

Cascade Care will be available to all Washingtonians, regardless of income, who are not covered by employer health plans. Washingtonians who receive care through an employer, Medicare or Apple Care will not be affected.

The bill has passed both the House and the Senate, and now goes to Gov. Jay Inslee for signing

“Every Washingtonian deserves access to consistent and affordable health insurance,” Frockt said. “We need to ensure that people in every county of our state have options to buy into the individual market. Cascade Care takes imperative steps to establish lower premiums and deductibles. This new option with standardized plans will not only make insurance coverage more affordable, but will allow people to have better access to care when they need it.”

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    Senate’s capital budget proposes life-changing investments in infrastructure

Senate’s capital budget proposes life-changing investments in infrastructure

April 28th, 2019|

The Washington State Senate today approved a two-year capital budget that would invest in priority infrastructure across the state in the areas of behavioral health, affordable housing, education and the environment.

The budget passed with a unanimous vote.

“The bipartisan support of this budget highlights the investments it makes on behalf of all Washingtonians,” said Sen. David Frockt, vice chair of the Senate Ways & Means Committee and the Senate’s lead capital budget writer. “The capital budget supports our schools, improvements to our behavioral health system, the environment, and other values that are so key to the Washington way of life.”

The budget invests $120 million in community based behavioral health investments, helping patients transition to care in their own communities.

It also includes $33.2 million for predesign, planning and design of a new, 150-bed behavioral health teaching facility at the University of Washington Medical Center. This project has broad bipartisan support and is seen as a critical component of Washington’s long-term strategy to create a new paradigm for mental health treatment in Washington State. 

“Washington is transitioning to a behavioral health system that helps and protects our most vulnerable neighbors, and this budget supports that,” Frockt said. “Our investment in the Housing Trust Fund compliments that investment — particularly a $35 million investment in housing with behavioral health supports.”

The budget includes $175 million in affordable housing loans and grants through the Housing Trust Fund. Allocations within the Housing Trust Fund include:

  • $10 million for high-quality modular housing to transition people out of homelessness quickly.
  • $35 million for supportive housing and case management services for people living with behavioral health disorders.
  • $10 million for competitively awarded grants for state matches on private contributions to fund affordable housing
  • $10 million for housing preservation grants
  • $5 million for housing veterans
  • $5 million for housing to serve people with disabilities

The capital budget invests about $148.4 million in toxics cleanup, prevention and stormwater assistance to local governments.

Additional environmental investments would prevent wildfires and help the orca population. Forest hazard reduction would receive $14.2 million. The budget contains funding spread across a variety of projects that would aid orca recovery, including habitat restoration.

The $63 million invested in state parks would expand Washingtonians’ options for outdoor recreation. About $3 million of that funding would go to a new, full-service Nisqually State Park near Eatonville. About $35.4 million would fund park maintenance.

An additional $85 million would fund outdoor recreation projects though Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program grants.

The budget would invest about $1.1 billion in K-12 education, with about $1.04 billion dedicated to the School Construction Assistance Program. About $23 million would benefit distressed schools, and $20 million would fund small district modernization grants.

The state’s higher education system would receive $974 million.

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    Frockt ‘disappointed’ by Republicans’ refusal to vote for capital budget funding

Frockt ‘disappointed’ by Republicans’ refusal to vote for capital budget funding

April 8th, 2019|

Senate Republicans on Monday blocked funding for the 2019-21 Capital construction budget by voting against SHB 1101, which had received unanimous, bipartisan support in the House on Wednesday.

The bill failed because a 60 percent supermajority is required to approve a bond bill.

The move is reminiscent of the 2017 Legislative session, when then-majority Senate Republicans blocked funding for the 2017-19 Capital Budget. Senate Republicans ultimately failed to pass the budget at all that session, which marked the first time in recent history the Legislature failed to pass a construction budget.

“I am extremely disappointed,” said Sen. David Frockt, the Senate’s chief capital budget writer. “This is a good budget for every part of the state. These projects were negotiated in good faith in a bipartisan fashion. There is no good reason to withhold votes for the bond bill today.”

The capital budget invests in infrastructure projects throughout Washington. Below is a list of just a few of those projects and policy areas funded in the budget:

  • $1 billion for school construction statewide
  • $200 million for behavioral health projects statewide
  • $3.5 million: Housing in Airway Heights near Spokane
  • $2.5 million: Veterans housing in Yakima
  • $2 million: Sewer project in Wenatchee
  • $2 million: Business park in Ridgefield
  • $2 million: Food bank in Moses Lake

 For a complete list of projects, please click here.

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    Bill designed to help prevent school shootings passes Senate

Bill designed to help prevent school shootings passes Senate

March 5th, 2019|

A bill to update Washington’s Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) statute to improve school safety passed the Washington State Senate today with a strong bipartisan 43 to 5 vote.

Senate Bill 5027 would amend an initiative passed by Washington voters in 2015, and is sponsored by Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle). The bill came at the unanimous recommendation of the Mass Shooting Workgroup, which met during the 2018 interim.

“We are facing the emergence of a school shooting generation of children, normalizing lockdowns and active shooter response plans amongst other safety drills,” Frockt said. “This is not normal and I believe our country needs to do more to prevent these tragedies that have affected not only Parkland and Sandy Hook, but Freeman and Marysville in our own state.”

“We can lead the way in our own state with this legislation that was agreed upon by the workgroup comprised of a number of different professionals including law enforcement, educators and behavioral health.”

This new bill is designed to clarify the application of ERPOs to minors, and keep firearms out of the hands of minors who are at a high risk of hurting themselves or others during a behavioral health crisis or through potential violent behavior.

The bill would allow petitions for ERPOs to be applied to people under the age of 18. If approved, an order would prohibit the minor from accessing, controlling, purchasing, possessing or receiving a firearm. The minor’s parent or guardian would be notified of their legal obligation to safely secure any firearms.

According to a report by Everytown for Gun Safety, shooters exhibited warning signs indicating that they posed a danger to themselves or others before shooting in about half of all mass shootings.

“We know that Washington’s ERPO law has saved lives, and we know that there are typically warning signs before school shootings,” Frockt said. “To me, applying this existing, effective law to minors is the logical next step along with many other bills we are going to pass to provide many more behavioral health supports to our kids.”

Background

Frockt introduced the original ERPO statute in 2015. After the bill stalled for two years in the legislature, Washington voters enacted an ERPO initiative in 2016, with an overwhelming 69 percent of the vote. The measure had strong support in nearly every corner of the state.

Washington was the fourth state in the country to enact such a law. Nine other states have since passed similar measures. The ERPO statute allows people to petition the court to remove someone’s firearms if that person poses a significant danger to themselves or others. However, in Washington the statute currently only applies to adults.