A measure aimed at reducing the amount of garbage littering the state passed out of the House of Representatives today.

Senate Bill 89, authored by state Sen. Roger Ballenger (D-Okmulgee) and state Rep. Paul Wesselhöft (R-Moore), would increase the maximum fine for dumping large items such as furniture and old appliances from $200 to $400. The bill also changes current law to prohibit court costs from being paid out of the amount of the fine.

“We need to dis-incentivize dumping, and we can do that by increasing the penalty for throwing trash on the ground,” said Wesselhöft, R-Moore. “Cleaning up these large items is a financial burden on the counties. I don’t understand why anyone would do that in the first place. It is just a lack of respect for others and for the earth God gave us. Hopefully, this will get everyone’s attention and our state will be a cleaner place to live.”

Senate Bill 89 passed out of the House by a vote of 44-2 and now heads to the governor for consideration.