- Associated Press - Monday, March 14, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Legislative negotiators aiming to hash out a transportation funding plan are ready to head back to the bargaining table.

Lawmakers entered the 2016 session last week with the goal of finalizing a road and bridge repair package. But a wide divide in the approaches favored by Democrats and Republicans remains.

Those differences kept a deal out of reach last year. Republican Rep. Tim Kelly said Monday that House and Senate negotiators may start meeting later this week.

Republicans want a plan that taps a budget surplus and shifts existing taxes on car parts into a dedicated transportation fund. Sen. Scott Dibble says he and fellow Democrats still favor a gasoline tax hike.

The legislative leaders say it’s encouraging they both want to find $6 billion-plus in the next decade.

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