BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will ask lawmakers to raise the cost of recreational hunting and fishing licenses and other user fees to close a budget gap that is only projected to worsen in the future.

Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Jack Montoucet told the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday the proposal would raise $17 million a year for the agency.

A smaller license restructuring proposal two years ago was rejected by the House. Since then, the agency’s financial problems have worsened.

Revenue from oil and gas drilling in wildlife management areas is declining. And the state is seeing fewer dollars from fees as more people buy lifetime hunting and fishing licenses.