Bipartisan support to clarify cigarette butts are litter

FILE - This June 22, 2012 file photo a smoker snuffs out a cigarette at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif. A well-financed campaign whose backers include billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, medical groups and organized labor has collected enough signatures for a ballot measure to raise California's cigarette tax by $2 per pack, officials said. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli,File)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A bill that would clarify that cigarette and cigar butts count as litter is advancing at the Virginia General Assembly with bipartisan support.

The legislation, sponsored by Democratic Del. Sam Rasoul, makes clear in Virginia code that the butts count as litter.

Republican Del. Jackson Miller, a former police officer, said the legislation was needed because some judges are dismissing tickets for littering because they don’t consider cigarette butts as trash.

The bill narrowly cleared a GOP-controlled House committee Wednesday, but still needs to pass the full House and the Senate before being sent to the governor.

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