When the Louisiana governor called the state Department of Transportation and Development to ask for fund-raising ideas, the agency complied with more than $100 million in possible fee increases - most of them aimed at truckers.
The fees are designed to help make up a projected $630 million shortfall in the 2000-2001 state budget.
Among the suggestions:
* Triple annual truck registration fees from about $500 to $1,500.
* Raise the price of driver's licenses by $5.
* Double the current penalty for overweight vehicles, to generate about $570,000 a year.
* Increase fees for trucks hauling sugar cane and cotton from $100 and $50 respectively to $2,000.
All of the suggestions from state agencies will be evaluated. Department of Transportation and Development Secretary Kam Movassaghi said talk of boosting fees for truckers has gotten a chilly reception in most quarters. Truck fees in Louisiana are lower than in 43 other states, he said.