Two Midwestern states are pursuing legislation that would get tough
An Iowa Senate panel has approved a bill that would double the fines
for littering along the state’s roads and in state parks.
The Senate Natural Resources and Environment Committee voted March 2 to
advance a bill that would prohibit illegally discarding 14 solid wastes. The
bill – SF2319 – now heads to the Senate.
Supporters say current fines are too low to be a deterrent and too low
to make police focus on anti-littering enforcement.
The bill would increase the fine for littering along highways from $35
to $70. The penalty for littering in state parks would increase from $15 to
In addition, illegal dumping of garbage would net offenders a $1,000
fine – up from $500.
Half of the revenue generated would be routed to the Iowa Department of
Transportation for cleanup of litter and illegal dumping. The remaining portion
would go to the Department of Natural Resources.
In Illinois, people caught littering on the state’s roads might be
forced to adopt it and clean it up.
Existing state law allows that anyone caught in the act of throwing out
trash can be fined up to $500. But a bill in the House would allow judges to
sentence litterbugs to 30 days of picking up refuse on the stretch of road they
trashed or a nearby location.
Supporters say it’s a textbook case of the punishment fitting the
The bill – HB4451 – won unanimous approval in the House March 1. It has
been forwarded to the Senate for further consideration.