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Politics

Haslam: Decide road priorities before talking funding

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Republican Gov. Bill Haslam is calling on state lawmakers to decide on Tennessee's priorities on future road projects before resolving the politically tricky issue of finding a way to pay for them.

The governor said in a phone interview with The Associated Press on Monday evening that he's calling for the state House and Senate transportation committees to determine which projects the state needs to complete — and how soon.

Haslam said the cost can only be determined once a consensus is reached on the state's transportation needs. And in the governor's words: "Only then can you say, let's talk about ways to pay for that."

Haslam earlier unveiled a list of 765 projects around the state that couldn't even be considered by the Legislature until 2022 under current funding conditions.