States scramble to ease pain at the pump

WASHINGTON — As fuel prices across the country pass $4 a gallon, many states are offering motorists at the start of the summer driving season suggestions and some solutions for relief.

Plans pursued by states range from widely discussed proposals to suspend gas taxes to exploring flex-time hours for state employees and allowing campers to store their recreational vehicles longer at state parks. Some motorists, as well, are cutting back their driving or taking advantage of vacation destinations closer to home.

One of the most generous proposals is from Alaska, where the high price of oil sold there is funneling money into its budget, at the same time it became the first state to see the average price of regular gas hit $4 a gallon. The national average is $3.80 a gallon as of May 20, according to AAA.

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