Legislative panel takes up Walz transportation plan, gas tax plan

Published 9:29 pm Thursday, March 21, 2019

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Legislature has begun work on Gov. Tim Walz’s transportation plan, including his disputed proposal to raise the state’s gasoline tax by 20 cents.

A House transportation committee on Thursday gave the Democratic governor’s plan its first hearing. Supporters then rallied in the Capitol, where they heard key lawmakers and Walz urge the Legislature to approve the package.

The governor said the only holdup is the lack of political will inside the Capitol. He said it’s not a choice between raising the gas tax or not raising the gas tax, it’s choice about having a robust and safe transportation system, “or having potholes that your children can drown in.”

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Republican leaders say there’s no need to raise the tax when the state has a $1 billion surplus.