The West Virginia Senate wants to study how the state funds its roads to see if there are alternatives to the gas tax.
The bill authorizing the study passed 24-10 Monday despite the objections of every Republican senator.
The study would research alternate funding methods, including a tax on total miles traveled instead of gas used.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mike Hall said that the study was unnecessary because Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has ordered a blue ribbon commission to study the state's highways.
A report from that commission is expected in May.