Illinois Passes Cigarette Butt Law

Illinois Passes Cigarette Butt Law

I should have guessed that before former Chicago Alderman Richard “Dick” Mell engineered his blatant act of Chicago Nepotism that his Uber Liberal daughter Deborah Mell would sponsor a bill (HB3243) that will ultimately be largely ignored by law enforcement, except maybe by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

As for the rest of the state’s law enforcement units, well, maybe they added some sort of a Gomer Pyle Citizens Arrest Clause to help them. Then again the Illinois Legislature probably wouldn’t have for fear I catch one of them flicking their butt!

Now I am not saying it isn’t a good law but come on, really? And with all the fricking gang violence in the streets? One would think someone in the Illinois State Legislature could have seen the ridicule attached to a news headline that says Illinois Passes Cigarette Butt Law.

The Illinois Cigarette Butt Law will prohibit anyone from flicking their butt unless they want to be fined up to $1,500 a pop beginning January 1, 2014. And if you get caught a third time, well holy crap on a cracker that person will wind up in jail for not less than one year and up to three with a $25,000 fine. And to think murderers walk out of Illinois courtrooms with probation, electronic monitoring or nothing at all depending on which nimrod judge is hearing the case. So I have to say it again – really?

I mean is the state that desperate for revenue that they would actually make flicking a butt a harsher penalty than more severe and real crime? Oh well I suppose that is just the state of the state because all they want to do these days is fine, fine, fine. After all they must really need that extra revenue to pay for all those political insider sweetheart deals while avoiding their legal obligation to fund a runaway Illinois Public Pension Fund System.

Graft and corruption has sucked municipal and state treasuries dry to pay for political malfeasance and criminal enterprising and the only thing our politicians can think of doing is to install speed cameras, red light cameras and now enact Cigarette Butt laws.

Where will it all end already?

Again, I don’t think anti-littering laws are bad per se. Yes it is true birds can’t digest them and/or that butts are a toxic waste. But there are plenty of anti-littering laws on the fricking books already. I mean if the cops really wanted to enforce them they have been available. So why don’t they? Well who knows but I don’t think that really changes anything. Cigarette butts are already classified as any other litter so far as I can tell. So did we really need another redundant law?

What in the hell was Deborah Mell and her colleagues in the Legislature thinking anyway? Then again maybe that was what Deborah Mell had to do to get Rahm Emanuel’s blessing (chuckle, chuckle) as he is probably already got his brain spinning on how to turn this Cigarette Butt Law into another major revenue stream to augment those speed cameras.

But I really have to wonder, despite the joy that must spilling through the offices of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights – do they really think it is going to make a difference or that a cop is going to pull over a car after someone flicks a butt to begin the process of three hours of paperwork? And what happens if while that cop is writing out a ticket for this really really heinous criminal act a call comes in that there is a person man with a gun is holding up a merchant or worse – will the cops continue to write that ticket and/or report or will they respond to a real criminal act in progress?

And while we are on the subjects of cops. Over burdening them with lesser crimes and misdemeanors only means they can’t do their real function which is combating crime. You know like real violent and serious crime? Don’t forget that most municipalities (including Chicago) already have too few cops to do their jobs now. So again – really?

Let’s get sensible here. First, cigarette smoking is on the decline so while their may be an estimated 1.69 billion pounds of butts winding up as toxic trash that is not just in Illinois – that is worldwide. Second, with all the prevailing anti-littering laws already on the books why haven’t they been enforced to begin with? Well?

The bottom line is that the solution was there all along!

Truth be told though – I think this is a matter of priorities and I would have to think that combating violent crime is far more important than a going after a cigarette butt flicker. Then again the cops in Rockford, Illinois might prefer to pull over an easy ticket rather than risk life or limb dealing with a crowd of gang-bangers given the article I read. I don’t know – but they already have a law on the books. Although it now looks as if they will have the option of whether to hit an offender with a lower city ordinance fine or the much higher state fine.

Gee do you think that this might be their new gang-banger solution? Wow – they can now go after individual gang-bangers as they flick their butts. Then again, I wonder what happens to the poor merchant under the law or ordinance when say a group of gang-bangers or a crowd of harmless teens congregate in front of a store and they leave a pile of butts on the ground? Does the cigarette butt litter left on the ground now subject the merchant to huge fine if he doesn’t sweep it up right away? Gee just wondering.

But Hey Yo Rahm – did you have Deborah Mell propose this thing just for you? After all now you can kill two birds with one stone:

An anti gang measure by way of butts or a new fricking revenue stream!



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  • This seems similar to our discussion over Steve Dale and Quinn with all his signing ceremonies, which the Tribune now recognizes as a campaign tactic. I'm surprised that you didn't make the connection that this gives companies other than Redflex the opportunity to bid on a butt camera contract. I'm also surprised that Quinn did not hold a press conference or that the problem wasn't eliminated by raising cigarette taxes to about $6 a pack, like all other evils supposedly were to be.

    Heck, this is only slightly more ridiculous than some state legislator complaining yesterday that schools found a way to get around his "first day of school has to be a full day" law. Education is a legislative concern, but not this nannying, when the state can't afford to support it.

  • Quinn and his Sunday Signings are definitely a campaign gimmick but knows the media will come. As for the connection to a Butt Camera well I think I alluded to it but yeah probably should have added that a new player could avail themselves (haha).

    One thing I dislike about all those anti-smoking measures is that they are taxed to high heavens and provide the state with that much needed revenue (as do drinkers) - then they make it harder to smoke anywhere? Well hey I get the non-smoker rights but I doubt they pay as much taxes per capita as those that do. So we should figure out a "non-smoker tax of some sort."

    Don't even get me going on the hypocrisy on education......and its lack of funding (Lotto anyone?)

  • In reply to Michael Ciric:

    The tax to high heavens was supposedly to force smokers to cut back, saving health care costs and the like. However, since that was first floated about 15 years ago (with the price rises related to the tobacco settlement) the taxes have tripled (at least in Cook County), but that hasn't stopped smokers, so I think we agree that the taxes are only milking addicts.

  • In reply to jack:

    Well I suppose if the national numbers are to be believed they have declined among the older generation; problem is the younger generation numbers have been increasing probably in part to very targeted advertising. But absolutely right on milking addicts Jack.

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    "When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."

    With laws like this, I'm honestly beginning to fear my government. What's next? A mandatory death sentence for 3rd offence texting and driving? I wish someone would start running against these totalitarian Nazis and during the campaign, expose any insane law their opponent(s) have passed while in office. Anyone in favor of repealing all these increasingly idiotic laws they've been habitually passing every year will have my vote!

  • In reply to Hal Halloway:

    Your opening quote is spot on Hal; the Founding Fathers knew that "absolute power" was a possibility and as such we should all be mindful and vigilant. And yes, the time has come to vote these asinine career politicians and vote them out of office.

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