Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal says legislation to increase the state’s gas tax has an "even money chance — 50/50" of passing this year, despite Governor Culver’s opposition.

"Whether the votes are there to do it and whether the governor’s willing to do that, you know, we’re going to explore that," Gronstal said during an interview Saturday with Iowa Public Radio. "…I’m going to try and figure out a way to get this accomplished. Certrainly a large number of (Democratic state senators) do no go along with a fuel tax increase, so any effort is going to have to be broadly and deeply bipartisan."

Gronstal made his comments after a Saturday forum in Council Bluffs. Governor Culver, a fellow Democrat, has repeatedly voiced opposition to the idea of raising the gas tax during a recession.