ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota House has approved a transportation bill
that Republicans say will help the state begin work on much-needed road and
bridge projects.

The nearly $2.2 billion legislation passed by a vote of 76-54. Lawmakers
continued their perennial battles over light rail projects and what funding
sources to use for transportation projects.

Republican Rep. Paul Torkelson, of Hanska, says the bill fixes many of
Minnesota's deficient roads and bridges without raising taxes or fees. But
Democrats say the bill relies too much on non-dedicated funds.

Debate over a gas tax hike will likely appear in negotiations again this year.
Gov. Mark Dayton says he wants to raise it, while Republicans favor using money
from the general fund, existing transportation accounts and taking on debt to
pay for projects.