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Many residents have reacted poorly to the prospect of heaping a few more cents onto already high and unpredictable gas prices.

Mr. Miller has said he expects an increase to pass the Senate but be more closely contested in the House.

“I can empathize with the gas tax because we haven’t raised it since 1992,” he said. “It’s a user fee, and it’s desperately needed. It’s a responsible vote, and it has to happen.”