Tri-Cities area lawmaker responds to delay in state transportation funding decision

NASHVILLE, TN (WJHL) – A funding decision for Tennessee’s road improvements projects is delayed after a Transportation Subcommittee meeting suddenly adjourned, moments after a Tri-Cities area lawmaker made a presentation.

In January, in Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam introduced a plan to raise the state’s gas tax by 7% to help pay for $6 billion in transportation backlog, that’s nearly 1,000 road projects.

State Representative John Mark Windle moved to adjourn after his proposal for a sales tax exemption on baby formula was deemed “not timely filed, “ending all conversation on transportation funding.

Right before, Representative David Hawk of Greeneville, TN presented an amendment to his House Bill 1012 that focuses on existing revenue to fund transportation projects by using .25 of 1% of the top general sales tax. Rep. Hawk said he felt interrupted by Rep. Windle.

“That’s just a game, that’s an unfortunate game that one of my legislative colleagues decided to play, if he’s serious about that legislation then he needs to introduce it as a bill and not play games with someone else’s legislation,” Rep. Hawk said.

Rep. Hawk said he plans to come back to the committee meeting next week to work out a solution and continue the discussion on Tennessee’s road projects.

The Associated Press reports Rep. Windle called for the delay on voting on Governor Haslam’s transportation plan to make sure that the needs of working Tennessean’s are considered. Rep. Windle added he doesn’t believe he needs to apologize for introducing a sales tax exemption on baby formula.

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