ON THE GOVERNOR’S DESK | HB 1884
Staff at Texas Heritage Protection are so pleased to announce that two of the bills we advocated for (with your help) have passed out of the state’s House of Representatives and Senate. These two bills, House Bill 1884 and Senate Bill 570, are now sitting on the Governor’s desk.
House Bill 1884, authored by State Representative Charles “Doc” Anderson (R –Waco) and sponsored by Senator Lois Kolkhorst (R – Brenham), allows judges to sentence convicted litterers to up to 60 hours of community service picking up litter or working in a recycling facility in their county of residence.
We believe that this bill will help reduce recidivism rates by connecting litterers to the reality of their careless actions. A bottle discarded on the side of the road, a cigarette butt thrown out the car window, a plastic bag blown out of a truck — all of these items collect and end up somewhere. So often in Texas especially, litter ends up along farm-to-market roads in cash-strapped counties that do not have the staff or resources to remediate the actions of a few bad actors.
That is why we are so proud that Republican lawmakers recognized that an previously-viewed “liberal”, “environmental” problem is actually a community problem. House Bill 1884 adheres to conservative principles of small government, low taxes and prudence in legislation by giving judges the discretion to prescribe a punishment that fits the crime. The bill upholds community responsibility by distributing a punishment that connects convicted litterers to the results of their actions in a very real way.
Too often good residents and neighbors bear the brunt of a litterer’s actions. We’ve talked to many Texans who regularly pick up trash or pay for the removal of a stranger’s furniture, fridges, trash heaps, and other items left discarded on their property. Well, not anymore!
If the Governor signs this anti-litter legislation into law by June 18, we hope that the those bad actors will get a healthy dose of poetic justice and our communities will get a helpful tool in combating Texas’s growing litter problem.