ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Legislators threw Minnesota's transportation commissioner out of office Thursday, some six months after the Minneapolis bridge collapse crystallized discontent over her leadership.

State senators voted 44-22 against confirming Carol Molnau, who remains lieutenant governor. The vote was widely expected since the chamber is controlled by Democrats, who have long seen the Republican as an obstacle to increased spending on roads and transit.

Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller blamed Molnau for standing with GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty as he rejected bills that would have given her department more money. He recalled watching a video that showed her smiling and laughing a few years ago as the governor vetoed a road spending bill.