MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama Senate has begun debate on a proposed 10-cent gasoline tax increase.

As debate began Tuesday, Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh said the increase is needed to keep Alabama competitive with neighboring states.

Gov. Kay Ivey proposed the 10-cent-a-gallon gas tax increase to fund road and bridge construction.

Ivey's proposal has so far been moving on the legislative fast track. The Alabama House of Representatives approved the bill on an 83-20 vote.

Marsh has said he is confident lawmakers have the votes to pass the measure.

The proposed increase would be phased in over three years. The tax would then be adjusted with construction costs up to a penny every two years.

Legislators could conclude the special session Tuesday if lawmakers give final approval to the bill.

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