Tackling Gas Prices (Sort of)

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By: Jeremy Alford

Fueling your ride gets more expensive every day, and now some lawmakers want you to know they feel your pain.

Rep. Wayne Waddell, R-Shreveport, has filed House Concurrent Resolution 74 to suspend a portion of the state gas tax for three months this summer. It’s sure to be popular, but Waddell’s temporary approach won’t offer any long-term effects. Meanwhile, Sen. Troy Hebert, D-Jeanerette, offers Senate Bill 771, which would allow Louisiana motorists to tool around on streets and highways in tiny Japanese minitrucks. Other states (including Texas and Mississippi) allow minitrucks, known as Kei-class or K-class vehicles, which look sort of like golf carts with extended truck beds. They sport 660-cubic-centimeter engines, which is less than half the size of what you’ll find in a Honda Civic. “And they’re about the size of a little, small compact car,” Hebert says. “They get about 45 to 50 miles per gallon, and you can purchase them for $4,000 or less.” Some lawmakers have voiced concerns about crash-test standards, but Hebert’s bill would prohibit driving them on Louisiana interstates. The measure has already passed the Senate and is awaiting introduction to the House. Waddell’s HCR 74, meanwhile, is pending in the House Ways and Means Committee.

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