New law targets litterbugs

Aug 19, 2013

Litterbugs, be on notice. Two new Illinois laws could cost you.  IPR'S Amanda Vinicky reports.

Before Deborah Mell became a Chicago alderman last month, she pushed two pieces of legislation through the Illinois House, both trying to crack down on people who litter. The first:

"simply adds cigarettes to the definition of litter."   

The other creates a minimum, $50 fine for anyone who tosses trash, cigarettes or otherwise, out their car window. 

A bunch of Republicans, including Rep. David Reis,  who's from Jasper County in Southern Illinois, opposed both measures.

"This is almost unbelievable -- $50 fine for throwing your cigarette butt on the ground.  And I don't like that.  I think it's distasteful, I don't smoke. But where are we going to stop with this? And is the second fine going to be higher? Is there going to be jail time? I mean what's coming with this? I think most of these cigarette butts are biodegradable."

The litter laws will take effect at the start of 2014.