The Clarion-Ledger, 2/2/9

Mississippi drivers would pay more for licenses and vehicle titles. Drunken drivers and sex offenders also would have to dig deeper into their pockets. And business owners would foot the bill for environmental permits.

Those are some of the ways lawmakers are trying to raise revenue in an uncertain economy that’s making it difficult to balance the state’s budget.

House Bill 1338 includes millions of dollars worth of fee increases, and it cleared a key committee last week in the Legislature’s 2009 regular session. The measure needs approval on the House floor before moving to the Senate for debate.

If it survives, driver’s license fees would rise from $21 to $31 for a four-year license. Drivers also would have the option of an eight-year renewal, which would cost $61.