Battle Over Gas Tax Looming in Tennessee

SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Gov. Bill Haslam is striking a defiant tone toward critics of raising Tennessee’s gas tax for the first time in 25 years.

Haslam is gearing up for a statewide tour to discuss the state’s transportation needs, but a group that helped sink the Republican governor’s Medicaid expansion proposal during the legislative session has announced a rival tour to oppose it.

Asked about his feelings about efforts to torpedo the gas tax increase before it can get out of the gate, Haslam told The Associated Press his opponents can "have at it."

The governor said transportation projects are sorely underfunded and that improving funding for them is long overdue. Haslam said his statewide tour will help whether the public agrees with the need to improve funding roads and bridges.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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