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Rep. West receives Legislator of the Year award from advocacy organization for older Ohioans

October 20, 2021
Thomas West News


COLUMBUS – State Rep. Thomas E. West (D-Canton) today issued a statement after receiving the Legislator of the Year award from the Ohio Association of Area Agencies on Aging:

“I am so honored to receive this recognition from the Association,” said Rep. West. “The Association does incredible work on behalf of each of our Area Agencies on Aging and the older Ohioans those agencies serve. We’ve made tremendous progress this year in supporting those older Ohioans and Ohioans with disabilities, particularly with the funding increases we were able to secure in the current biennial state budget for Medicaid home and community-based waiver programs. Allowing folks to receive adequate care at home, regardless of their income, is so vitally important.”

“I look forward to continuing this work on behalf of older Ohioans through my position on the Health Committee; the Families, Aging, and Human Services Committee; and the Joint Medicaid Oversight Committee.”

The Ohio Home Care Waiver and the PASSPORT Waiver are two programs offered by the Ohio Department of Medicaid to help Medicaid-eligible Ohioans receive the long-term care and supports they need to stay in their homes, rather than a nursing facility. The Home Care Waiver is available to individuals with physical disabilities from birth through age 59, and the PASSPORT Waiver is available for individuals age 60 and up. 

Under House Bill (HB) 110, which established the state’s operating budget for fiscal years 2022-2023, the legislature approved an increase of 6.1 percent in the state’s reimbursement rate for both of these programs. Rep. West joined his colleagues on the House Finance Committee in advocating for those rate increases.

In addition to committee work, Rep. West and Rep. Phil Plummer (R-Dayton) have also championed House Bill (HB) 23, their bipartisan bill to require training for first responders and police officers on interacting with Ohioans who have dementia. HB 23 overwhelmingly passed the House earlier this year and is currently awaiting further consideration from the Senate Veterans and Public Safety Committee.