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Showdown Looms Over Haslam's Gas Tax Plan

Posted at 7:38 PM, Apr 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-19 00:03:40-04

The signature piece of Governor Haslam's 2017 legislative agenda is set for a showdown on the House floor Wednesday morning as lawmakers vote on the plan. The bill would raise the state's gas tax in order to increase funding for statewide transportation projects.

Haslam spent Easter weekend working lobbying lawmakers to vote for the plan known as the IMPROVE Act. Since introducing the legislation in January, Haslam has met resistance from within his own party as Republican lawmakers have voiced concern over raising the gas tax.

"This is too important not to make a decision about," Governor Haslam said during an interview on Tuesday.

"I’m hoping it’s time to have the final discussion about what do we do and we come up with a solution," he added.

House lawmakers were set to vote on the plan Wednesday morning, but a number of Republicans have indicated they would put their support behind an alternative plan being pushed by Representative David Hawk

Hawk's plan would raise much needed money for road and bridge projects by taking a percentage of the sales tax from vehicle sales.

"What our constituents have asked us to do is look within existing revenue first before raising a tax any other way," Hawk said on Tuesday.

The IMPROVE Act is scheduled for a vote on the House floor Wed. morning at 9.