The Wyoming House of Representatives last week passed a bill to increase the gas tax by ten cents. The bill now goes to the Senate for disposition there. Two years ago in his State of the State address Governor Mead proposed using a portion of the severance tax that goes into the Permanent Mineral Trust Fund to pay for highways. The Legislature rejected that proposal. There is a shortfall of $130 million plus per year in funding for highways. Governor Mead says this year he asked the Legislature to increase the fuel tax or support his original proposal. Meanwhile, Mead announced that the University of Wyoming last week had achieved significant success on a campaign to fund the construction of a state-of-the-art UW Energy Engineering Research Facility, raising $10.9 million in corporate partnerships which was doubled to $21.8 million by the state’s matching program.