Sen. David Frockt Newsroom

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    New protections for renters receiving housing assistance signed into law

New protections for renters receiving housing assistance signed into law

OLYMPIA – Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 2578, which protects low-income renters against discrimination because they receive rental assistance. Before, landlords could reject prospective tenants because they receive housing subsidies, even if they have good credit, no criminal history, and full-time employment.

In response to these discriminatory practices, Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D – Spokane) introduced House Bill 2578. This act prohibits landlords from refusing to rent to someone because they receive housing assistance.

“I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that Washington is having a housing crisis. Part of the problem is that renters who receive help can struggle to find somewhere to call home,” said Rep. Riccelli. “These hurdles just add to what has become a serious problem. This is just one of a list of actions we’ve taken this session to tackle Washington’s housing problem.”

“Housing is the first and most critical need that must be met for individuals and families,” added Sen. David Frockt (D-Seattle) a sponsor of source-of-income discrimination legislation in the Senate. “Very little can be helped when people are not in stable housing situations. The innovative aspects of this statewide policy, forged through consensus and compromise with the landlord representatives, ushers in a new era and a model for the country. Without a doubt, we need more affordable housing supply. But we also have housing assistance vouchers in place for a reason. This law will ensure that they are actually used in the private rental market, which is critical to addressing this crisis.”

Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah), who helped usher the bill through the Senate, thanked all stakeholders for coming to the table in good faith. “I am proud that Washington was the first state to partner with private landlords to ban source-of-income discrimination in a way that works for both renters and landlords,” said Sen. Mullet.

At the signing, Gov. Inslee expressed appreciation for the legislators who worked on the bill. “I want to thank Rep. Riccelli and everybody who’s worked on this bill for some period of time. It’s really a great step,” said Inslee.

With the Governor’s signature, House Bill 2578 becomes law.

Gov. Inslee signs Engrossed Second Substitute House Bill No. 2578, March 15, 2018. Relating to ensuring housing options. Primary Sponsor: Marcus Riccelli

March 16th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Frockt applauds deal on Deadly Force initiative

Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, released a statement Thursday following the Senate passage of House Bill 3003, which amends Initiative 940.

The initiative would update Washington state’s law on the use of deadly force in policing, and will appear on the November ballot.

“The agreement reached between law enforcement groups and DeEscalate Washington is one of the most profound and important agreements I have seen since my time in Olympia. For the last two years, first on the Task Force on the Use of Deadly Force and then in the 2017 legislative session, we sought common ground. We worked to remove the word ‘malice’ from this statute and find language that would create a fair, objective standard for police accountability.

The language of the legislation passed today is the result of lengthy discussions and a campaign to put I-940 before the legislature. This is a signature achievement that, unlike what we’ve seen with the Department of Justice in DC, attempts to bring law enforcement and communities together behind better training, conflict de-escalation and accountability – as well as a safer environment for police officers and the people who interact with them. This is a model for the rest of the country to follow.”

“In addition to this compromise, the Legislature made considerable investments in mental health this session, which should lessen the burden on our state’s law enforcement. The Senate passed Senate Bill 5970, which would provide funding to deploy mental health response teams with law enforcement.  This, too, is exactly the kind of innovative reform that will improve police and community relations.”

March 8th, 2018|Uncategorized|

New bill would promote school safety in wake of mass shooting

OLYMPIA — A bill introduced Friday by Sen. David Frockt would align the age and background check requirements for the purchase of certain rifles with those already existing for handgun purchases.

Senate Bill 6620 also prioritizes school safety in the wake of a mass shooting in Parkland, Florida by creating mechanism for students to report dangerous behavior and by providing funding for emergency response systems.

“The brave students of Parkland, Florida have changed the conversation in this country regarding gun safety,” said Frockt, D-Seattle. “This shooting reminded us that there’s a lot of work to be done when it comes to school safety. It reminded Washingtonians that our own children are just as much at risk.

“This is a logical, reasonable, common-sense step toward preserving the safety of our students, teachers and school staff. I encourage other lawmakers to stand with me in support of this potentially life-saving measure.”

The bill is based on previous legislation introduced at the recommendation of Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and would do the following:

  • Requires the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to allocate grants to school districts for the purpose of implementing emergency response systems. These systems would expedite law enforcement response.
  • Create the Students Protecting Students program within the Office of the Attorney General. Students would be able to anonymously report via telephone, text or email potentially dangerous, violent or criminal activities. Information would immediately be forwarded to local law enforcement and/or school officials.
  • Aligns the requirements for sale or transfer of a rifle with tactical features with existing requirements for the sale or transfer of a handgun. Purchasers would have to be 21 or older. The sale or transfer of these guns would require a state and federal background check.

Currently, these firearms may be purchased by anyone 18 or older, and with only a federal background check.

SB 6620 will be sent to the Senate Ways & Means Committee for consideration.

February 24th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Frockt to participate in Telephone Town Hall

Call in to speak with Senator Frockt, Representative Pollet and Representative Valdez of the 46th legislative district for their 2018 telephone town hall!

To participate, call 877-299-8493 and use the pin “116293”

Or, wireless users can visit to sign up for the call.

February 14th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Bill would deploy mental health response teams with law enforcement

Bill would deploy mental health response teams with law enforcement

OLYMPIA — Legislation passed Monday by the Senate would assist law enforcement agencies in partnering with mental health professionals to respond to crisis situations in a safer, more helpful way.

“We all know that law enforcement agencies are responding to a significant number of calls,” said Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle. “This bill will expand successful mental health field response teams already operating in Seattle, Tacoma and other areas of Washington.”

Frockt’s Senate Bill 5970 would establish a grant program to fund crisis intervention response pilot projects — partnerships between law enforcement agencies and mental health professionals. The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs would coordinate the program.

The bill would allow agencies to build crisis intervention response programs that best fit their communities.

“We gave it a lot of flexibility because the model that works in Seattle may not be exactly what they need in Spokane, or in Orting, or in any other jurisdiction,” Frockt said. “Different areas have different needs, and the local communities and agencies know those needs better than we do.”

Frockt worked closely with the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs to develop this measure. Both that agency and the Association of Washington Cities support the bill.

The Seattle Police Department in 2014 implemented a Crisis Intervention Program. Five officers working within the unit have special crisis intervention training, and respond to calls with a civilian mental health professional. Frockt rode along with this unit last year to observe their efforts.

The department responded to 9,154 crisis incidents in a one-year period, according to a report. About 20 percent of these crisis contacts resulted in referrals to community or social services. About 31 percent resulted in emergent detention, and about 11 percent resulted in voluntary committal. Only about 8 percent resulted in arrests.

SB 5970 was approved unanimously by the Senate. The bill now proceeds to the House for consideration.

February 13th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Senate votes to fix funding issues for behavioral rehabilitation services for children

Senate votes to fix funding issues for behavioral rehabilitation services for children

OLYMPIA — A bill passed today by the state Senate would address funding issues for the behavioral rehabilitation services that help Washington’s children.

“These youth are some of the most vulnerable in our state, and we’ve known for years that they’re not receiving the services they need,” said Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle. “Many of these children are in foster care. In many instances, they have suffered neglect or abuse. We are their Washington family, and we must ensure the services they need are funded so these children can move toward a better life.”

Currently, the state reimburses behavioral rehabilitation providers at levels far less than the actual costs of helping the children in need of these services. The current cost of business for these facilities is $248 per day, per child. The actual cost of providing services is $411 per day, per child.

As a result of this funding disparity, the state has lost more than 170 behavioral rehabilitation service beds since 2009. Between 60 and 70 Washington children are being treated out of state, and another 195 children are being housed in hotels awaiting behavioral rehabilitation service beds — costing the state about $2,100 per day, according to the Children’s Administration.

Many of the children served by these programs are in foster care.

Senate Bill 6013 would require the state Department of Children, Youth and Families to facilitate a workgroup to design a rate payment methodology based on the true costs of providing behavioral rehabilitation services. It would also require that these services be forecasted and budgeted in the future.

The bill passed with a unanimous vote in the Senate.

February 12th, 2018|Uncategorized|
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    Senate passes bill to eliminate a form of housing discrimination

Senate passes bill to eliminate a form of housing discrimination

OLYMPIA — A bill passed in the Senate today would prevent landlords from discriminating against tenants based on the source of their income. The bill is sponsored by Sen. David Frockt, and passed with the strong support of Sen. Mark Mullet, D-Issaquah, chair of the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee.

“I can think of no more urgent issue in our state than making sure that people have access to affordable housing,” Frockt said. “We want people to be able to live in their homes and not be forced into housing distress and the myriad consequences of that.”

“We’re proud to be the first state to partner with private landlords to expand access to housing for people with Section 8 vouchers,” Mullet said.

Senate Bill 5407 would prohibit landlords from discriminating against tenants whose income includes housing subsidies, veterans’ assistance, or other forms of public assistance. It would prevent landlords from refusing to rent property, expelling tenants, or discouraging rental to a tenant based on their income source.

State law already prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants based on their sex, race, sexual orientation and other factors.

“Homelessness is a crisis in Washington state, and we have limited tools to solve this problem,” Frockt said. “One of those tools is housing assistance. But that only works if people are able to rent homes using that source of income.”

A one-night count in 2017 identified more than 11,600 people experiencing homelessness in King County alone. About 45 percent of state funding set aside for ending homelessness is intended to be used in the private, for-profit rental market.

Frockt’s bill also offers protections to landlords, in the form of a mitigation fund. The fund would provide landlords who rent to tenants with qualifying sources of income the following: up to 14 days of lost rental income, up to $1,000 for eligible repairs, and reimbursements for damages reflected in a judgement obtained against a tenant. This innovation – the first of its kind in the country – is designed to address landlord concerns and was developed in close consultation with landlord groups. As a result of this work, the measure received strong bipartisan support, passing with a 33 to 14 vote.

Twelve states already prohibit source-of-income discrimination against tenants.

SB 5407 now moves to the House for consideration.

This bill is one of three bill passed Friday intended to improve access to affordable housing and emergency shelters. Senate Bill 6371 regards the Housing Finance Commission, and Senate Bill 6294 exempts certain shelters from impact fees.



February 9th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Senate votes to extend financial aid access for DREAMers

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.”

January 25th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Frockt applauds capital budget passage

OLYMPIA — Sen. David Frockt is proud to announce the passage of Washington’s capital budget, which will invest more than $4 billion in essential, life-changing projects statewide.
“The capital budget is a critical tool in making sure Washingtonians have the quality of life they deserve,” Frockt said. “This budget is responsible for investments in our children’s education, for improvements to the mental health system, and for contributions to affordable housing. Its impacts touch every corner of this state.”
Frockt, D-Seattle, was instrumental in the measure’s passage as the Senate’s capital budget chair. For the first time in decades, the Legislature failed to pass a biennial capital budget in 2017 after Republicans tied it to an outside issue. But after less than two weeks of Democrats’ control of both the House and Senate, lawmakers were able to move the vital budget forward.
“Capital budgets have traditionally been bipartisan efforts benefiting all parts of our state, and this budget is no different,” Frockt. “It’s unfortunate that Washingtonians had to wait so long for this funding.”
“We have all heard for the last nine months the dramatic effects on jobs, investment and infrastructure that the failure to fund these projects had around the state. In my district alone, we heard of several businesses that were operating on reserve funds and pending layoffs while this important bill languished. It was critical for us to get this done early in the session, and I am proud that the new majority pulled it off.”
The $4 billion budget will fund the largest-ever investment in K-12 school construction — about $1 billion. About $861 million will go to higher education projects. About $106 million will go to the Housing Trust Fund, the second highest such investment in state history.
More than $65 million will go to community mental health beds, and about $20 million will go to both Eastern and Western state hospitals for patient safety enhancements, increased capacity and renovations.
About $15 million in the capital budget will fund a dramatic expansion in dental care, benefitting people who previously couldn’t afford treatment.
The budget also makes a significant investment in Washington’s environment and natural resources. A total of $350 million will go to water quality, with $55 million going to help local governments statewide treat contaminated storm water.
Another nearly $70 million will fund cleanup and remediation of contaminated sites.
In Frockt’s own 46th district and the city of Seattle, the budget provides:
• $2 million in renovations for the Magnuson and Lake City Community Centers
• $1.5 million for culvert replacement and embankment repair in Kenmore
• $1.2 million for Lyon Creek fish barrier removal in Lake Forrest Park
• $1 million for historic buildings
• $500,000 for St. Edward State Park ballfield renovation in Kenmore
• $250,000 for Kenmore Public Boathouse improvements
• $75,000 for the St. Edward State Park Environmental Learning Center
• $36 million for Seattle Public Schools renovations and capacity
• Several capital investments for the University of Washington, including Parrington Hall at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, the new Population Health Center, the Magnuson Health Science Building and the completion of funding for the Burke Museum
• $6 million in innovative, low-cost housing projects for King County and Seattle, including new modular construction.

January 19th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Senators propose ‘more appropriate’ reform of DWLS law

OLYMPIA — Bipartisan legislation introduced this week would reduce the state’s most commonly charged crime – driving while license suspended in the third degree – to a civil infraction.

Senators Joe Fain and David Frockt say Senate Bill 6189 would enable prosecutors to prioritize serious public-safety threats while ensuring that minor infractions do not restrict job and housing opportunities for people who cannot afford to pay traffic fines.

“Allowing prosecutors to focus on addressing the most dangerous public-safety threats like DUIs, distracted driving and aggressive motorists will make our roads and community safer,” said Fain, R-Auburn, whose previous service as a prosecutor in the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office concentrated on DUI cases.

“Civil infractions are a much more appropriate way to handle those who do not or cannot pay a ticket for whatever reason. Criminal charges reduce a person’s ability to rent an apartment or be considered for the very job they would need to pay the original fine.”

Failing to pay a traffic ticket or associated late-payment fees typically results in the suspension of a person’s driver license by the state Department of Licensing. A subsequent traffic citation then turns into two charges: the infraction itself, along with the charge known in legal parlance as DWLS III.

“The current law places a heavy burden on Washington residents who already have difficulty playing traffic fines,” said Frockt, D-Seattle. “Criminal charges severely limit a person’s economic future, trapping them in a vicious cycle of unemployment and an inability to reinstate their driver license.

“Prosecuting these people is also expensive for our taxpayers, costing the state more than $42 million in 2015 alone. It’s only right that we treat DWLS III as a civil infraction, not a criminal charge.”

Application of the criminal charge is inconsistent throughout the state, as some municipalities like Seattle and Yakima already tend to treat DWLS III as a civil infraction.

The ACLU Washington report “Driven to Fail: The High Cost of Washington’s Most Ineffective Crime” details the current law’s negative impacts on drivers and voters.

The bipartisan bill is expected to receive a public hearing later this month before the Senate Law and Justice Committee. The Legislature is currently in the third day of 2018’s 60-day legislative session.


January 10th, 2018|Uncategorized|