Two Midwestern states are ramping up their efforts to deter people from
discarding items along roads.
Gov. Tom Vilsack signed a bill into law in Iowa 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 approve an effort
to get tough with litterbugs.
In Illinois, Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a measure – HB4451
– that will 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 new law allows judges to
sentence litterbugs to 30 days of picking up refuse on the stretch of road they
trashed or a nearby location.
The new rule takes effect next year.