WHEREAS, notwithstanding the limitations set forth in R.S. 32:380-386 (hereafter "standard limitations"), the Department of Transportation and Development is authorized by R.S. 32:386.1 to issue blanket oversize yearly permits for a set fee, and by R.S. 32:387, 387.2, 387.3, 387.4, 387.6, 387.7, 387.9, and 387.10 to issue special permits for a fee under certain circumstances, to vehicles which exceed standard limitations;
WHEREAS, all vehicles and motor vehicles registered in the state of Louisiana are also assessed an annual registration fee or tax pursuant to the provisions of R.S. 47:462; however, the rates assessed vehicles such as trucks, trailers, semi-trailers, and/or truck-tractors that are based on the weight of the vehicle, may not be commensurate with the amount that Louisiana's neighboring states assess comparable vehicles;
WHEREAS, the amount of deterioration, if any, caused to Louisiana's highways and/or roadways by vehicles specially permitted to carry weight in excess of standard limitations should be studied and compared to the amount of deterioration, if any, caused by vehicles that are in compliance with standard limitations because a balance should be maintained between the economic concerns of businesses and the public's interests in preserving the safety and structural integrity of the state's highway system; and
WHEREAS, the interests of the citizens of the state of Louisiana would best be served by the creation of a task force charged with the duty of evaluating:
NOW THEREFORE, I, M.J. "MIKE" FOSTER, JR., Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The Oversize and Excess Weight Vehicle Task Force (hereafter "Task Force") is established within the executive department, Office of the Governor.
SECTION 2: The duties of the Task Force shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
SECTION 3: The Task Force shall submit a comprehensive written report to the governor; the House Committee on Transportation, Highways and Public Works; the House Committee on Ways and Means; the Senate Committee on Transportation, Highways, and Public Works; and the Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs, by March 1, 1999.
SECTION 4: The Task Force shall consist of nineteen (19) members who shall be appointed by, and serve at the pleasure of, the governor. The Task Force membership shall be selected as follows:
SECTION 5: The governor shall select the chair of the Task Force from its membership. All other officers shall be elected by the membership of the Task Force.
SECTION 6: The Task Force shall meet at least once a month and at the call of the chair.
SECTION 7: Support staff for the Task Force and facilities for its meetings shall be provided by the Department of Transportation and Development.
SECTION 8: The members of the Task Force shall not receive compensation or a per diem. Nonetheless, contingent upon the availability of funds, members who are not an employee of the state of Louisiana or one of its political subdivisions, or an elected official, may receive reimbursement from the Office of the Governor, for actual travel expenses incurred, in accordance with state guidelines and procedures, with the prior written approval of the assistant chief of staff, Office of the Governor, and concurrence of the commissioner of Administration.
SECTION 9: All departments, commission, boards, agencies, and officers of the state, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate with the Task Force in implementing the provisions of this Order.
SECTION 10: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 8th day of October, 1998.
M.J. "Mike" Foster, Jr.
Secretary of State