A key committee in the Democrat-controlled Minnesota House votes this afternoon (1pm start) on a transportation funding package including a gas tax increase, which would index the fee at the pump to infrastructure construction costs. Hanska Republican Paul Torkelson objects the proposal was thrown in at the last minute with no chance for the public to review it or lawmakers to research it:

“It’s unconscionable. This is not the way the legislature is supposed to work.”

Bill sponsor, Minneapolis Democrat Frank Hornstein responds, with very few exceptions…

…”every single one of these provisions has been heard or introduced or is not necessarily controversial.”

But a gas tax increase is very controversial and almost certainly would not survive in the Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate. (House Democrats’ bill would also increase the metro area sales tax, tab fees and the motor vehicle sales tax — necessary, they say for Minnesota to catch up on unmet transportation needs.   Republicans respond tax increases put even more pressure on individuals and businesses struggling with the economic effects of COVID.)