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Senate passes gas tax increase to fund road, bridge repairs

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Senate has passed a bill that funds road and bridge repairs by raising the state's gasoline tax.

The plan would raise more than $6 billion for infrastructure repairs by adding a 6 1/2-percent wholesale tax on gas sales and hiking license tab fees. It also funds mass transit projects with a sales tax hike in the seven-county metropolitan area.

Senate lawmakers voted 36-27 for a transportation budget bill Monday. Two Democrats and all Republicans voted against it.

Gov. Mark Dayton favors the Senate's approach but it's vastly different from the Republican-controlled House's plan. House GOP lawmakers aim to tap the state's budget surplus and reroute existing tax revenue to pay for infrastructure projects.

House and Senate negotiators will spend the next few weeks trying to find a compromise.


Here is how Southeast Minnesota senators voted:

Voting yes — Sen. Vicki Jensen, DFL-Owatonna; and Sen. Matt Schmit, DFL-Red Wing.

Voting no — Sen. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona; Sen. Carla Nelson, R-Rochester; Sen. Dave Senjem, R-Rochester; and Sen. Dan Sparks, DFL-Austin.

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