ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- The Minnesota Legislature has begun work in earnest on Gov. Tim Walz's transportation plan, including his disputed proposal to raise the state's gasoline tax by 20 cents.

A House transportation committee on Thursday gave the Democratic governor's plan its first hearing. Supporters then rallied in the Capitol, where they heard key lawmakers and Walz urge the Legislature to approve the package.

The governor says the only holdup is the lack of political will inside the
Capitol. He says it's not a choice between raising the gas tax or not raising
the gas tax, it's choice about having a robust and safe transportation system,
"or having potholes that your children can drown in."

Republican leaders say there's no need to raise the tax when the state has a $1 billion surplus.