Anti-Litter Bill Advances in House
During what has been a very busy week for the Alabama legislature, the House State Government Committee passed House Bill 500, which would increase penalties for littering. The bill, which is sponsored by Rep. Margie Wilcox (R-Mobile), will go to the full House next.
Committee members received more than 200 messages in support of HB 500, and the bill passed out of committee without any opposition. As a result, we’ve now updated our alert to go to the legislators who represent you rather than the committee members: take a minute to ask your elected officials to vote YES on HB 500 and help clean up our state!
Litter hurts our environment and our communities, and it is expensive and time-consuming to clean up. HB 500 addresses this by:
- Increasing the fine for littering to $500 from $250;
- Increasing the fine for subsequent convictions for littering to $1000 and 100 hours of picking up litter, or a fine of up to $3000;
- Adding an additional fine of $500 if litter includes cigarettes, cigars, containers of urine, or food containers;
- Allocating 50% of any fines collected to cities or counties to be spent on law or litter enforcement;
- Making littering a Class B misdemeanor instead of Class C;
- Penalizing drivers who litter by adding three points to their drivers licenses.
We’ve all seen the negative impacts of litter whether we’re driving down the street or out on the water. By increasing the penalties for littering and giving communities the funds they need to deal with litter, HB 500 is an important step toward cleaning up our state.