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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- A group has hired two lobbyists to push for an increase in South Carolina's gas tax.

The State of Columbia reports (http://bit.ly/W3sTWE) Thursday that the S.C. Alliance to Fix Our Roads says the increase is needed to fund nearly $50 billion in road construction and repairs that are needed in the next 20 years.

The group previously focused on education but opted in September to shift its attention to lobbying.

Gov. Nikki Haley has said she is opposed increasing the gas tax. Haley's proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes using $14.3 million of general fund money to pay for things the gas tax normally funds, freeing up that gas tax money to pay for road improvements.

South Carolina's 16-cents-a-gallon gas tax is the third-lowest in the country.

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