Minnesota House and Senate negotiators have a tough job as they begin today (2 pm) trying to reach agreement on the transportation funding part of the state budget. Governor Tim Walz is pushing hard for a gas tax increase, but Republicans say “no” — that there’s enough money already available for roads and bridges if spending is controlled in other areas.   Lead Senate negotiator, Hutchinson Republican Scott Newman says it’s an honest disagreement:

“No question this governor is genuine in his thinking, but so am I — and I don’t how we’re gonna bridge that gap yet, except that we’re gonna have to.”