The crime of illegal dumping covers getting rid of things like old television sets, refrigerators and tires in ditches, fields and other places that are not legal dump sites. If you’re caught illegally dumping something that weighs more than 10 pounds or something larger than 15 cubic feet, the fine will be $1,000 for a first offense. If you’re caught a second time, the fine doubles to $2,000. It triples to $3,000 on a third offense.
The crime of littering things like a pop can or a candy wrapper is a simple misdemeanor, but because of this new law fines can now go as high as $625.
The Keep Iowa Beautiful organization estimates the State of Iowa spends $35 million each year to pick up the garbage that’s tossed out of moving vehicles. A Keep America Beautiful survey concludes nearly 22 percent of all litter is paper, about 20 percent is plastic and nearly six percent is glass. The largest share of litter, though, comes from smokers. Nearly 38 percent of litter comes from cigarettes, cigars and other tobacco products.
A series of gun-related laws go into effect today. Iowa landowners can legally carry a loaded gun of any kind while they’re driving an ATV on their property. The law that goes into effect today lets ATV operators on someone else’s property carry a gun, but if it’s a long gun — a rifle or shotgun — it cannot be loaded and must be in a case. People with concealed weapons permits may carry loaded guns in their holsters while driving or riding on an ATV. The law does not let you stay on the ATV while shooting. You have to get off the vehicle to shoot.
Another gun-related law about “suppressors” went into effect in March, on the day Governor Branstad approved it. It is now legal to have “suppressor” or “silencer” on a gun in Iowa.
A series of criminal justice reforms officially takes effect today. Supporters hope some will help reduce racial disparities in Iowa’s prison system.
Governor Terry Branstad signed the bills outlining these new policies into law this spring. One change will make inmates doing time for robbery — a crime committed without a gun — eligible for parole sooner. Officials estimate it could save the state more than $750,000 a year by 2018.
A new state law also shields most juvenile delinquency records from the public from now on. It does not apply to felonies and a judge could order that any record be made public. The governor agreed there are many situations where allowing a teenager’s minor offense to be a public record has kept them getting a job or going to college.
A new law also calls for erasing convictions for public intoxication and alcohol consumption in public after two years — but only if the person guilty of that crime has a clean record. A traffic ticket wouldn’t be enough to stop the process of scrubbing the public “intox” or alcohol consumption conviction off a person’s record.