The Minnesota House held lengthy debate on a major transportation bill that includes a gas tax increase for Minnesota drivers to cover the costs of road and bridge repairs. Republican Representative Paul Torkelson of Hanska proposed an amendment that would allow a voter referendum on a gas tax increase…

“And we’d ask voters if they’d really want to approve a .20, 70% gas increase that is indexed to inflation.”

But DFL Representative Frank Hornstein of St. Paul countered…

“That’s what they do in California, they don’t like something they put it on the ballot. This is unconstitutional, we usually do this through unconstitutional amendments, so let’s do this the Minnesota way through the legislature.”

Torkelson’s amendment failed. Senate Republicans say they will not negotiate a gas tax increase. Instead, they propose continuing to put the sales tax on auto parts toward roads and bridges.