David Frockt represents the 46th District in the Washington state senate, which primarily comprises North Seattle and which will be expanded in 2012 to include Lake Forest Park and Kenmore. First elected to the state house of representatives in 2010, David was elected early on by his Democratic Caucus colleagues as Assistant Floor Leader, a rare responsibility given to a rookie member of the State House. Following the untimely passing of Sen. Scott White in October of 2011, the Metropolitan King County Council voted unanimously to appoint David to represent the 46th District in the state senate.
His freshman year in the House, David hit the ground running by playing a key role in drafting parts of the landmark Foreclosure Fairness Act that provided bank financed housing counseling and mediation to Washington homeowners in financial distress.
He was lead sponsor of legislation protecting Washington’s urban lakes and waterways from storm water runoff containing carcinogenic coal tar sealants making Washington the first state in the country to pass a ban on the use of these products which are being recognized as a growing environmental and health threat. He was also the lead sponsor of legislation revising the legal standards for the lifting of long-term domestic violence protection orders to insure that women were protected. David also passed legislation designed to lead to a more efficient regulatory environment for public schools in Seattle and around the state to host pre and after school programs.
David was proud to help procure a capital appropriation for Children’s Hospital and fought to restore a key funding formula for the hospital to backfill funds lost due to Medicaid rate payment cuts. He was also one of the key architects in the House for HB 2078, which would have ended a significant tax loophole for interest on first mortgages held by major out of state banks. David is also a strong advocate for funding early childhood education programs and was one of six legislators to sponsor an amendment to the House Budget that would have restored cuts in teacher pay.
In the Senate, David serves on the Transportation, Higher Education and Health Care Committees where he fought for local transit funding options, stable funding for higher education and financial aid as well as better counseling for our students to address the growing student loan debt crisis, and implementation of the health insurance exchanges in Washington in order to expand health care to hundreds of thousands of the more than one million in our state who are uninsured. His legislative accomplishments in his first year include the following:
SB 6315 – the Fair Tenant Screening Act - requires landlords to disclose information about their tenant screening processes to prospective tenants and provides a way for tenants to respond if housing is denied on the basis of information in those screening reports.
SB 6121, provides a counseling curriculum of information and “best practices” to better prepare students for the long-term debts that they may be taking on to finance their education. David also offered a bill to restore work study as well as a number of education related amendments to the 9th order budget a few weeks ago, including the only one accepted that night which restored a scholarship fund that was cut in the original Republican budget. Fought for higher education funding.
HB 2313 requires more transparency for Regents meetings in the higher education system. David worked across party lines to add an amendment to the bill that that requires a 21-day notice by Regents before any hearing on potential tuition increases in order to give students more time to organize and respond. This was a top priority of student groups.
SB 6226 establishes a 12-month authorization period for the state’s Working Connections childcare program. The bill, several years in the making, will reduce bureaucratic overhead and will provide more certainty for low-income families who know that they will have steady and dependable childcare in order to allow them to find steady work. Recent studies from WSU and the federal government supported this policy change.
SB 6215 establishes an optional Transportation Benefit District rebate authority for Seattle. This measure could help to address the regressive nature of some local option funding mechanisms for transportation and transit packages.
HB 2614, provides consumer protections for short sale homeowners, was the companion to a Senate bill I sponsored. David worked closely with House sponsor Rep. Phyllis Kenney on the bill and led negotiations on the measure when it came over to the Senate. The bill creates a notice mechanism for short sale homeowners to be informed of whether the bank will pursue remaining debt if the home is sold for less than the amount owed. The bill also reduces the amount of time, from six years to three years, in which lenders may pursue that deficiency. The idea is to insure that homeowners have full information and the knowledge that they can push back on their lenders by demanding a full release, while statutorily shortening the time that banks can hold any deficiency over their heads
HB 2216, was the companion to a bill David sponsored, which increased sentencing to the manslaughter range for DUI vehicular homicide cases. Current law provided a sentencing range of 31 to 41 months, with a typical work or home release in 24 months. This was one of the major priorities for prosecutors as well as the families of several recent high-profile DUI-related tragedies in Seattle and around the Puget Sound region.
HB 1652 provides a civil legal remedy for individuals impersonated on social networking and online bulletin board sites. This bill is the second of its kind in the country and was supported by the Washington Technology Industry Association. Frockt first sponsored this bill as a member of the House.
HB 2239 establishes a new type of corporate form in Washington: the social purpose corporation. Frockt prime sponsored the Senate companion bill and helped to move the legislation to the governor’s desk. This measure establishes a new and innovative corporate form that will allow entrepreneurs and companies more flexibility to adopt corporate goals other than maximizing profits.
Frockt was also the lead Seattle Senator on securing a $9.4 million capital appropriation to renovate and reopen 3 schools in the Seattle district to deal with overcrowding issues. He also worked to support North Seattle Community College in its request for funding for its new Technology center. David was recently appointed to the board of Innovate Washington, a state agency dedicated to supporting companies and entrepreneurs in the innovation economy in this state, with an emphasis on the clean energy sector.
Prior to coming to the Legislature, David worked on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. as an aide to US Rep Romano Mazzoli, a senior member of the House Judiciary and Small Business Committees. In this position, he worked on a variety of issues including consumer protection from misleading tobacco advertising, campaign finance reform and minority small business development. He also served as the main press aide for Rep. Mazzoli.
In the mid-1990s, David moved to California to work in public policy and marketing for a telecommunications firm. He subsequently worked at the University of California, San Francisco School of Public Health as a research assistant on a project that analyzed the use of tobacco industry sponsored science on the debate surrounding the health effects of secondhand smoke. He returned to law school in 1995 and earned his JD from UCLA in 1998. Summer clerkships included a short stint in the civil division of the US Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles and with the Seattle based law firm of Riddell Williams, who then hired him on as an associate lawyer in 1998.
From 1998 to 2000, David practiced employment and business law at Riddell. In 2000 he joined a boutique litigation practice in Seattle eventually becoming one of the principal partners in the firm. Bergman, Draper & Frockt became the leading Northwest law firm representing asbestos cancer victims, many of whom were union workers from the industrial trades in shipyards, power plants, refineries and paper mills around the Puget Sound. David is now affiliated in “of counsel” status with firm to accommodate his public service in the Washington State Senate.
David and his wife Rebecca will be celebrating their 15th wedding anniversary this year. They live in North Seattle and are the proud parents of eight year old twins.