ARLINGTON, Va. - Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told state highway officials meeting here yesterday that public-private partnerships should be among the options for funding transportation projects, and that he and Obama administration officials have ruled out an increased gasoline tax to shore up the highway trust fund in the near term.

"In a recession, when people are out of work, don't have jobs, the last thing any politician wants to talk about" is raising taxes, LaHood said, following a speech at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials annual Washington briefing.

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