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Republicans Balk Over Raising Gas Tax

RR050817 gastaxMay 8, 2017 – Republicans are balking over President Trump’s openness to raising the federal gas tax to help pay for U.S. roads and highways – a politically fraught issue that lawmakers have avoided for years, according to The Hill. There are a handful of GOP lawmakers who are champions of increasing the gas tax, something that hasn’t happened in more than two decades. But the signals coming out of the White House appear to be at odds with GOP leadership and influential conservatives, who have repeatedly been put in the uncomfortable spot of having to square their positions with the president’s. “I oppose raising taxes, and I oppose adding to the debt,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), chairman of Republican Policy Committee and head of the Environment and Public Works Committee, told The Hill. “There are a lot of ways we can do the funding [for infrastructure].”

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Gas Tax Cut in Wisconsin?

RR050317 WisGasTaxMay 3, 2017 – A sweeping Republican proposal to fund transportation and cut taxes would flatten income tax rates, lower the gas tax and raise new funding for roads by applying the sales tax to gasoline, according to an article in the Wisconsin State Journal. The goal of the plan, which is subject to change, is to hold gas prices steady by lowering the state’s 9.18 percent minimum markup on gas prices, according to Rep. John Macco (R-Ledgeview), chairman of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee. That means more money for the transportation fund could come from the bottom lines of companies that benefit from higher retail gas prices under the minimum markup law – both large national retailers and locally owned stores. Critics, however, say the money could also end up coming from consumers at the pump.

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Trump Would Consider Gas Tax Hike

RR050217 gastaxMay 1, 2017 – President Donald Trump said he’s willing to raise the U.S. gas tax to fund infrastructure development and called the tax-overhaul plan he released last week the beginning of negotiations. “It’s something that I would certainly consider,” Trump said in an interview with Bloomberg News in the Oval Office, noting that the idea is supported by truckers. Association of Equipment Manufacturers President Dennis Slater said, "President Trump deserves credit for having the political courage to publicly acknowledge what so many other elected officials will not: That it's time to raise the gas tax."

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25 Years of Young Leaders

RR042417 YLApril 21, 2017 – The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) celebrated 25 years of the Young Leaders Annual Meeting at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Ariz. Industry professionals imparted leadership advice to a record crowd of more than 200 people. Joel Galassini, Cemex vice-president/general manager – aggregates, received the Mark S. Walsh award, sponsored by Rock Products, and presented by Associate Editor Josie Smith. Walsh was a member of the Young Leaders steering committee and helped set the direction and growth of the group before he passed away in 1999. The award is presented annually to a member of the group who exemplifies professionalism and enthusiasm for Young Leaders. Rock Products is proud to sponsor this award.

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Powerful Roads in California

RR041917 powerfulroadsApril 19, 2017 – California’s famously congested freeways may soon do more than create headaches, according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle. State officials agreed to fund an initiative to generate electrical power from traffic, a plan that involves harnessing road vibrations with the intent of turning the automobile, like the sun and wind, into a viable source of renewable energy. The technology is peculiar but proven. Devices that convert mechanical force into electricity are used in watches and lighters and are being tested for power generation on sidewalks and runways. A San Francisco nightclub has even leveraged the pulses of a dance floor to power its lights and music. But it remains to be seen whether the science can be employed on a large scale – threaded beneath the state’s sprawling highway system and rigged to produce significant, cost-effective electricity.

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