Portraying Max in the Utah Department of Transportation's "Don't Waste Utah" television spots, James Andrews has become a spokesman of sorts for the anti-litter movement of Utah.
"As you know from the commercials, I'm a man of few words," Andrews said, speaking to the House Energy, Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee in support of HB119, which would set a higher minimum fine for littering."I think there's a real problem out there. I think making the increase will make people think twice about littering," said Andrews.
The bill, sponsored by Jordan Tanner, R-Provo, would have increased the minimum fine for littering from $25 to $299. But the committee lowered the minimum fine to $100.
Rep. Glen Brown, R-Coalville, agreed litter was a problem but said raising the fine wouldn't necessarily solve the enforcement problem. "I want to stiffen the penalty, but we're hitting a fly with a sledgehammer," Brown said.
"You don't need to decapitate a person to get their attention," agreed Rep. Arlo James, D-Kearns.
UDOT spokesman Kim Morris said 1,800 to 2,000 pieces of litter are on each highway mile in Utah. "The Utah Department of Transportation thinks the concept of these stiffer penalties will put a dent in the amount of litter on our highways," Morris said.
The bill was unanimously approved by the committee Wednesday and now goes to the full House.