House Passes Bill Increasing Penalties for Littering
Lawmakers in the House have approved a bill that would increase the penalties for littering in the state.
Littering on public or private property in West Virginia is already a misdemeanor, but House Bill 2303 increases the fines and community service hours associated with it.
Fines in the bill are subject to the amount of trash a person disposes of improperly and are decided by a judge. They range from 100 to ten thousand dollars. The maximum amount of community service hours also increases in the bill to 200 hours, with a minimum of 8 required.
Delegate Rupie Phillips of Logan County, the only Independent member of the state Legislature, is the lead sponsor of the littering bill. He said he feels the penalties are reasonable, but wishes they were even stronger.
“If I was in committee, I woulda stood stronger on a stiffer bottom dollar than where they went," Phillips noted, "but like I said, we got a bill out, and it raised; the community service I mean, to go from just a few hours to possible 100 hours or possible 200 hours, I mean, just whatever. It’s just like I said, let’s just make West Virginia shine.”
The bill ultimately passed 95 to 3.