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New coalition will push lawmakers to fund Tennessee roads

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Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee has more than $8 billion in unfunded transportation needs. That's something the Transportation Coalition of Tennessee wants to change.

Lawmakers have been reluctant to increase Tennessee's 21.4-cents-per-gallon gas tax, which has not changed since 1989.

A state comptroller's report from January warned the tax is no longer sufficient to maintain existing infrastructure and meet long-term needs. Gov. Bill Haslam acknowledged the problem but said he wanted a year to develop a comprehensive plan.

The coalition hopes to push lawmakers to find a permanent solution to the funding shortfall by 2016, even if that means raising taxes.

In a Wednesday news conference, the coalition's Susie Alcorn said the group has not taken a position on where the money should come from. She said all options should be on the table.

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