Upcoming Townhall, Rent Stabilization, & Securing A Healthy Future

Dear friends and neighbors,

We’re past the halfway mark in this short legislative session and I’m still excited and proud of the progress being made on the issues that matter most to our community including affordable and accessible housing, environmental protection, and our ferry and transportation systems.

To help share this work with you and hear more about the issues that matter most to you, Rep. Lekanoff, Senator Lovelett, and I will be hosting a telephone townhall on February 21st from 6:30-7:30 PM. Simply call 877-229-8493 and enter the pin 116359 when prompted. See you there!

Tackling WA’s Housing Crisis

Addressing the housing crisis requires a three-pronged approach: Rent stabilization and capping how much rents can go up; building more market rate housing, as well as recovery and supportive housing. To hear my full thoughts on Washington’s strategy to addressing housing, watch my most recent video update or click on the image below:

An Update on Rent Stabilization

You’ve heard me say it a thousand times, and it’s worth repeating another thousand times: skyrocketing rents are drowning Washingtonians, especially in our own community. Last year, we fought hard for rent stabilization, but our bill stalled. This year, with House Bill 2114, we have another chance to bring relief, and I’m committed to working as hard as I can for this priority.

House Bill 2114 passed the House Housing Committee on January 16th, and the House Appropriations Committee on February 3rd. Now the bill is in the House Rules Committee awaiting a vote on the House floor. This legislation would be a life saver for Washington’s renters with predictable rent increases, longer notices for rent increases, protections from excessive increases, and support for responsible landlords.

To help us build momentum leading up to a potentially historic moment, continue sharing your stories and experiences with us.

Securing a Healthy Future for Washington 

Our planet faces unprecedented threats: extreme weather, rising seas, and the looming shadow of climate change. The choice is clear: invest in our well-being now through the Climate Commitment Act or face mounting healthcare costs and diminished lifespans.

The Climate Commitment Act (CCA) is our game changer. This innovative law uses market forces to make polluters pay for their carbon emissions, requiring them to clean up their act. The money collected then gets invested directly in communities most affected by climate change, helping them:

  • Prepare for future risks: From stronger seawalls to flood-resistant homes, building resilience against extreme weather.
  • Embrace clean energy: Solar panels, electric school busses, and energy-efficient homes – powering our future sustainably.
  • Protect our environment and health: Cleaning up polluted air and water, creating a healthier planet for everyone.

One impactful local project receiving CCA support is Skagit County’s Guemes Island Ferry. This will be the first new build all-electric ferry in the nation, leading the way to cleaner ferry systems in the region and beyond. The new ferry will replace a 44-year-old diesel vessel and save 52,000 gallons of diesel fuel per year, keeping our waters clean and ecosystems thriving.

Another meaningful project is Amtrak’s first-in-the-nation electric bus. This is a critical project, as 300 Washingtonians will be employed to build these busses in Whatcom County. Both projects empower residents with sustainable transportation options, promoting cleaner air and a healthier environment for all.

In addition to these investments, I will be actively advocating for the inclusion of funds for other similar projects in the budget. By supporting such initiatives, we ensure a healthier, more equitable future for Washington, laying the groundwork for generations to come.

Here are some ways the CCA is turning the tide on climate change and helping Washingtonians:

  • Youth under 18 can ride transit for free with funding from the CCA. Contact your local transit agency to find out more. This includes ferries, light rail, and all other public transit services.
  • Save money on used electric vehicles or new electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell electric vehicles with the used Clean Vehicle Credit and the new Clean Vehicle Credit.
  • Get a Federal tax credit when you add certain energy efficient improvements like heat pumps and weatherization. Low-income families can qualify for weatherization assistance programs through the Washington State Department of Commerce. CCA funding can be used to augment these resources and make them more accessible.
  • The Washington State Department of Commerce announced $47 million in funding for infrastructure improvements to support 43 construction projects that will provide more than 3000 units of affordable housing statewide.
  • Soon you’ll be able to get up to $1,200 in rebates on e-bike purchases.

With significant federal support on the way, the CCA’s impact is even more powerful. This is a transformative moment for our state, a chance to build a cleaner, healthier, and more equitable future for generations to come.

In service,

Rep. Alex Ramel

WA State Representative | 40th Legislative District
House Majority Whip
Pronouns: he/him/his