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State Rep. Thomas E. West (D-Canton) today applauded the decision of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to temporarily halt most drilling construction related to the Rover Pipeline. The FERC decision comes just weeks after an accidental spill at a Rover Pipeline construction site released roughly two million gallons of drilling liquid near the Tuscarawas River in Stark County. 

“I fully support the decision to freeze drilling for the Rover Pipeline project until experts and officials can determine the cause of this environmental disaster and take the necessary steps to prevent similar incidents in the future,” said West. “I am also troubled by the lack of transparency from Energy Transfer, who failed to inform community stakeholders and local officials about the April spill and the damage it has inflicted on our local wetlands.” 

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Thu, May 11, 2017

State Rep. Thomas E. West (D-Canton) yesterday evening presented 29 commendations to the men and women recognized as the “30 Faces of Leadership Stark County” by the countywide leadership organization. The Canton lawmaker was himself one of the 30 individuals recognized Thursday by Leadership Stark County.

“Every positive development in Stark County has been driven by local leaders who care deeply about their community, and nobody personifies that passionate advocacy better than this outstanding group of trailblazers,” said West. “The incredible range of backgrounds in this group – from artists to mayors, CEOs to teachers – shows that everyone has the capacity to make a difference in their community.”

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Thu, May 11, 2017

State Reps. Thomas E. West (D-Canton) and Ron Young (R-Leroy Twp.) this week introduced House Bill (HB) 177, bipartisan legislation to expand access to 501(c)(3) fitness facilities by exempting nonprofit gym memberships from the sales tax. Ohio is currently one of only five states to tax nonprofit gym memberships.

“The YMCA is responsible for untold numbers of public service programs throughout the state as a nonprofit organization contributing much to the fabric of Ohio,” said Young. “The collection of state sales taxes for memberships provided by these nonprofit recreation centers is not a productive activity by the state.”

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Thu, Apr 6, 2017

State Rep. Thomas E. West (D-Canton) today announced legislation to extend workers’ compensation protections to first responders who have been diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of their service. First responders who are diagnosed with PTSD as a result of their work are not currently eligible to receive compensation and benefits under Ohio’s Workers’ Compensation Law. 

“While they are in saving lives in our communities, peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical workers regularly experience stressful, life-changing situations that most of us can barely imagine,” said West. “I believe Ohio should be a state that offers protection to those who keep us safe and secure every day.” 

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Thu, Mar 16, 2017

State Rep. Thomas E. West (D-Canton) today issued the following statement regarding the state’s decision to delay submission of Ohio’s education plan under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA):

“I am extremely pleased with Superintendent Paolo DeMaria’s decision to delay the implementation of Ohio’s new education plan under ESSA. The original April deadline did not allow enough time for honest, thorough feedback from our teachers, parents and students.

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Wed, Mar 15, 2017
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State Reps. David Leland (D-Columbus) – aka “Mr. Baseball” – and Thomas West (D-Canton) applauded the Ohio House’s anticipated passage of House Bill (HB) 59 today, their legislation to honor Moses Fleetwood Walker, the nation’s first professional African American baseball player. The bill designates Walker’s birthday of October 7 as “Moses Fleetwood Walker Day” in the state of Ohio.

“Over a half-century before Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier, Moses Fleetwood Walker overcame bigotry and racism to claim his place on the baseball diamond,” said West. “By establishing ‘Moses Fleetwood Walker’ day, we can help cement the Ohio’s native rightful place in history as the first African American to play professional baseball in the United States.”  

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Wed, Mar 8, 2017

State Rep. Thomas E. West (D-Canton) today strongly objected to the latest round of proposed budget cuts to local communities included in Gov. John Kasich’s executive budget plan. Under the current budget bill, Canton stands to lose the fifth most in state funding of any city in Ohio. 

“Even as the governor claims that Ohio is on the ‘verge of a recession,’ he continues to propose cuts to critical local services that support our police and fire, repair roads and help fight the opioid epidemic,” said West. “Canton is already struggling to address an unemployment rate higher than the state average, and the governor’s cuts will only make things worse.” 

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Fri, Feb 17, 2017

State Reps. David Leland (D-Columbus)—aka “Mr. Baseball”—and Thomas West (D-Canton) reintroduced legislation today to honor Moses Fleetwood Walker, the nation’s first professional African American baseball player, by designating Walker’s birthday of October 7 as “Moses Fleetwood Walker Day” in the state of Ohio.

“Walker stood tall and persevered in the face of the incredible bigotry and discrimination he experienced throughout his career,” said West. “His legacy of bravery, which continues to inspire us today, deserves the proper recognition this legislation will bring.”

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Mon, Feb 13, 2017

State Rep. Thomas E. West (D-Canton) applauded the awareness raised by today’s eighth annual Human Trafficking Awareness Day at the Ohio Statehouse. The event, organized by State Rep. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo), brought together law enforcement officials, advocates and survivors from all over the nation for a day of discussion on ways to raise awareness and fight back against human trafficking in Ohio.

“Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Rep. Fedor and countless others around the state, we are making significant progress and offering concrete solutions to end modern day slavery in Ohio,” said West. “Moving forward, we must ensure law enforcement officials and advocates have the proper resources and support that they need to protect victims and end the scourge of human trafficking.” 

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Thu, Feb 2, 2017

State Rep. Thomas West (D-Canton) today announced the committees on which he will serve to help shape and refine public policy during the 132nd General Assembly.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House of Representatives to improve the lives of every Ohioan,” said West. “My committee assignments will allow me to focus on creating good-paying jobs, investing in reliable infrastructure and fighting our state’s opioid epidemic.”

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Tue, Jan 31, 2017