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This bill is substantively the same as when we reported on it in its original chamber. We continue to oppose this legislation.
The original analysis is below.
HB 274 would allow political subdivisions to charge up to $4000 in fines for illegal dumping, raising the cap from $2000.
We oppose HB 274 in the second chamber.
Sen. Lucio is the Senate sponsor.
This bill abridges the principle of limited government by increasing the penalty of a fine by 100%. Overcriminalization is an increasing issue in the United States. This increase in the fine seems excessive for the violation. Doubling an already steep fine seems disproportionate to the offense. If the penalty increase proposed by this legislation was limited to the dumping of hazardous waste there may be a good case for the increase. However, this bill applies to all refuse, including nonhazardous materials. The current $2,000 fine is steep enough that it would hurt the pocketbook of most people if they had to pay it, and would likely deter them from repeating the offense. For these reasons, we oppose HB 274.