Gov. Tom Vilsack signed a bill into law doubling the fines
for dumping and littering along Iowa roads and in state parks. The new fines
take effect Aug. 15.
Supporters say current fines are too low to be a deterrent
or to make police focus on anti-littering enforcement.
The new law, previously SF2319, increases the fine for
littering along highways from $35 to $70. The penalty for littering in state
parks increases from $15 to $30.
In addition, illegal dumping of garbage will net offenders a
$1,000 fine – up from $500.
Half of the revenue generated will be routed to the Iowa
Department of Transportation for cleanup of litter and illegal dumping. The
remaining portion will go to the general fund of the county where the offense
Iowa wasn’t the only Midwestern state to consider an effort
to get tough with litterbugs.
In Illinois, the House and Senate approved a measure –
HB4451 – that would open the possibility that 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 the bill awaiting Gov. Rod
Blagojevich’s signature would allow judges to sentence litterbugs to 30 days of
picking up refuse on the stretch of road they trashed or a nearby location.