Rep. West Announces Opposition To Senate Republican Budget Proposal
State lawmaker worried about cuts to Medicaid, unbalanced approach
June 14, 2017
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State Rep. Thomas E. West (D-Canton) today announced his intention to oppose the budget proposal announced by Ohio Senate Republicans on Monday. The Canton lawmaker expressed concern that the Senate chose to focus on cuts rather than utilize a more balanced approach. 

“I cannot support the Senate Republicans’ budget in its current form for a number of reasons,” said West. “My strongest concern with this proposal is the incredible damage that the $200 million cut to Medicaid would inflict on Ohio’s most vulnerable families. The Senate cannot claim to be adequately addressing the opioid crisis while gutting the programs that most directly boost treatment and prevention efforts.” 

In addition to cutting Medicaid funding, the budget makes cuts of 3 to 4 percent to nearly all state agencies. 

“Cutting funding from nearly every state agency means cutting funding from nearly every program that helps our neighbors in need,” said West. “Rather than slashing assistance to our communities, Senate Republicans should have sought a balanced approach that also closed tax loopholes for the richest Ohioans.” 

West did express support for one amendment that Senate Republicans made to the House budget. This amendment, which creates a tax amnesty program for delinquent taxpayers to settle unpaid debts to the state, strongly resembles a budget amendment that West introduced in the House. 

“I am pleased to see the Senate support a tax amnesty program in 2017,” said West. “This is a proposal that I pushed as a budget amendment in the House, and I intend to introduce it as a bill in the coming weeks.” 

The Senate Republican budget proposal is currently being deliberated by the Senate Finance Committee.

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