Bill OKd to let local law enforcement share litter fines
STATE HOUSE – The General Assembly has approved legislation that will allow local law enforcement agencies to receive a portion of any fines collected from litterbugs.
Passed today in concurrence by the House of Representatives was a Senate bill, 2014-S 2187, by Sen. Hanna M. Gallo (D-Dist. 27, Cranston, West Warwick). That bill now goes to the governor for his action.
The House also passed and sent to the Senate for a final vote a companion bill, 2014-H 8279, sponsored by Rep. Robert E. Craven (D-Dist. 32, North Kingstown).
Under the legislation, 30 percent of any fine for littering collected as a result of a complaint by a local law enforcement agency will be remitted to that agency, with payments to be made not less often than once every three months.
Under current law, a first violation of littering carries a fine of between $85 and $500. In addition to or in lieu of the fine, the person convicted of the offense may also be ordered to pick up litter for not less than 2 hours and as much as 25 hours.
A second offense carries a fine of between $300 and $500 and an order to pick up litter for 4 to 50 hours.
Currently all fines collected for littering are deposited in the state’s general fund.
The legislators said that since it is mainly local law enforcement officers, paid by their respective municipalities, that are responsible for citing individuals for litter, it is fair for the local agencies to benefit from a portion of the fines collected.
For more information, contact:
Randall T. Szyba, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903