The Tennessee General Assembly handed Gov. Bill Haslam a major victory Wednesday, approving his plan to raise the tax on gas and diesel to help fund a $10 billion backlog in needed transportation projects.
The House and Senate approval of his signature piece of legislation for the year moves the state one step closer to increasing the tax on gasoline for the first time in nearly 30 years.
After more than four and a half hours of discussion and debate, the House approved the measure with a 60-37 vote, thanks to support from a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers.
Less than 30 minutes after the House's action, the Senate began taking up the measure, passing it after an hour of discussion with a 25-6 vote.
Haslam's proposal, known as the IMPROVE Act, seeks to raise the tax on gasoline and diesel fuel by 6 cents and 10 cents, respectively, over a three-year period while also featuring myriad tax cuts.