Haslam takes issue with GOP gubernatorial hopeful's call to repeal gas tax hike

Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mount Juliet, concludes remarks on the Senate floor in Nashville on Wednesday. Beavers' proposal calling for the popular election of the state's attorney general fell short of the votes needed to pass the upper chamber.
photo Gov. Bill Haslam, center, talks with Tennessee State Senator Bo Watson, left, and Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger. Tennessee Gov. Bill Halsam signed the IMPROVE Act Bill at the Tennessee Welcome Center in East Ridge, Tenn. on June 4, 2017.

NASHVILLE - Republican Gov. Bill Haslam on Monday questioned a pledge by state Sen. Mae Beavers, a GOP lawmaker who hopes to succeed him, to work to repeal Tennessee's recently passed gas tax if elected next year.

"If you want to repeal that, how are you going to pay for road improvements?" Haslam asked reporters in Nashville on Monday afternoon as he held one of several ceremonial signings around the state on the IMPROVE Act, which raises gas and diesel taxes for roads and bridges while simultaneously cutting non-highway taxes by an even larger amount.