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NH road fix debate zeros in on gamblers, drivers

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CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Paying to fix New Hampshire's deteriorating highways is shaping up as a choice between legalizing video slots and increasing the gas tax.

The gas tax has been 18 cents for 22 years. House Public Works and Highways Chairman David Campbell, a Democrat with support from a former GOP House Finance chairman, is sponsoring a bill to increase it 12 cents and raise registration fees over three years.

State Sen. Lou D'Allesandro is a Democrat who has a powerful Republican on his side — Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Morse. He is sponsoring a bill to legalize 5,000 video slot machines and 150 table games in one casino.

Whether gamblers or drivers finance the fix isn't likely to be decided until the budget is acted on in June.

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