- Associated Press - Friday, February 10, 2017

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana Department of Transportation Director Mike Tooley says a proposal to increase the state’s fuel tax will be introduced in the Legislature next week.

Tooley made his comments during his confirmation hearing Thursday before the state Senate Highways and Transportation Commission. He did not provide details.

Republican Rep. Frank Garner of Kalispell has previously said he is willing to sponsor legislation to increase the fuel tax, which hasn’t been raised since the mid-1990s, if certain conditions are met.

Money from an increase would go toward replenishing the state’s special account that funds road projects. A projected shortfall in that account led the transportation department last year to announce it would delay $144 million worth of road projects.

The delay was lifted last month after the state received a $10 million Medicaid reimbursement from the federal government.

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