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S.C. House creates legislation to enforce litter laws

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South Carolina lawmakers have written new legislation that aims to help litter control efforts. House Bill 4458 (H. 4458) revises the state code that addresses litter providing new regulations for community service, defining illegal dumping and changing fines based on weights and types of violations. The goal of this legislation is to hone the tool that officers and judges use to enforce state litter laws. The changes requested in this legislation have been researched and are based on experiences that SC officers have dealt with in the field and in the court room. This legislation updates the definition of litter using Section 44-96-40 of SC Code of Laws and additional items including cigarette and cigarette components. It creates a fine in the amount of no less than $25.00 or more than $100.00 for a violation under 15 pounds, which includes small items such as a cigarette butts, small plastic items, aluminum cans, bottles or any other light weight item. These are the items commonly tossed out a moving window or discarded by a pedestrian.

It also includes updates on the community service component, making it easier for judges to assign community service hours by eliminating the need for mandatory supervision. This bill defines illegal dumping, which occurs when the discarded items are more than 15 pounds and provides a fine amount not less than $200 dollars nor more than $500 dollars. It also provides for mandatory community service hours that increase with each offense. H. 4458 has passed the House and is awaiting debate in the Senate Judiciary Committee. For more details on the bill or if you have questions, please contact Sarah Lyles at 877-725-7733 or slyles@palmettopride.org.

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