Justice to lay down his priorities in address to lawmakers

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Legislature returns for its 2018 session with now Republican Gov. Jim Justice laying down his priorities for the GOP-controlled House and Senate along with budget proposals.

The State of the State Address from Justice, his second, is expected to be more upbeat with the state economy and tax revenues improved.

He and Republican legislative leaders have voiced support for measures they say will improve the business climate and create jobs.

The House Democratic Caucus, also promising to support job creation, calls for helping students with more affordable community and technical college and protecting seniors by exempting Social Security benefits from state income taxes.

The Democrats oppose “forced pooling” that gives landowner mineral rights to drilling companies and say cutting business inventory taxes is currently unaffordable.

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