A key member of the House Subcommittee on Transportation who has previously stated his opposition to Gov. Haslam’s gas tax increase proposal has changed his mind.
In an exclusive interview with The Tennessee Star, State Rep. David Alexander (R-Winchester), who many thought would vote to kill the governor’s gas tax increase proposal in the Subcommittee on Transportation when it comes to a vote this week, now says that after having dinner with Gov. Haslam in Winchster Monday night he wants to see the bill brought to the full House for a vote by all 99 members.
The Star’s Laura Baigert first asked Alexander how he thought Monday evening’s gas tax town hall in Franklin County went.
You can watch the full interview below:
Alexander acknowledged that many of the questioners at the town hall opposed the gas tax increase, as The Star reported earlier on Tuesday.
Alexander praised the governor’s answering of questions at the event.
“For the last 15 or 18 months he’s been talking about the issue across the state of Tennessee so he’s got it well learned,” Alexander said.
“It went on for about an hour,” Alexander said of the town hall meeting.
“After it was over with, the governor and I went out to dinner at a local café and we continued our discussion about the gas tax, about the IMPROVE Act. He is very persuasive man,” Alexander told The Star’s Baigert.”
“He gave very good reasons for the IMPROVE ACT getting to the [full] House, and I agree with him,” Alexander said.
“I believe that a bill like that is as critical to the future of our economic development and well-being of our children to help make good jobs. I believe that a bill like that would be well to be discussed by the 99 [members of the entire House of Representatives] and not just the 8 [members of the Transporation Subcomittee,” Alexander told Baigert.
“So what you’re saying is your opinion was changed last night so that you are willing now to advance that bill further than the subcommittee?” Baigert asked.
“I am willing to advance that bill further than the subcommittee after our subcommittee has an opportunity to fix that bill and possibly amend that bill like subcommittees all over this place do,” Alexander answered.
“The question was asked of me earlier today, ‘Well why even have a committee if you’re just going to advance a bill?’ This a fair question. Where you have committees for many reasons. You have committees to get rid of bad bills. You have committees to amend bills and make them better and pass them forward so that the next committee can do the same thing if they want to or undo what you did,” Alexander explained.
“It’s the committee process that we have up here, and it’s not perfect. It does work,” he concluded.