"By setting aside a portion of the state excise tax on natural gas, we can boost job creation by eliminating the state tax on equipment and inventory, and we can also cut taxes for our state's citizens," Cowles said. "Natural gas production has the potential to create thousands of new jobs in our state and resulting revenues should, in turn, be reinvested to create additional jobs through tax deductions."
Republican House members predicted Tomblin would "paint a rosy picture" about the state's finances and business climate during tonight's address.
GOP members said 59,700 West Virginians were unemployed at last count.
"Nothing could be a greater priority during this session than job creation," Armstead said. "So many challenges facing our state can be tied back to unemployment and poverty."
Republicans also vowed to propose ethics reform measures, but offered no specifics.
Other items on their legislative agenda include defining marriage as between one man and one woman, and requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.