Rock Island To Consider Changing Penalties - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Rock Island To Consider Changing Penalties

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Rock Island city leaders will talk about changing penalties to get more money from fines.

Aldermen plan to vote at Monday night's council meeting on changing the penalties when it comes to not wearing your seat belt or talking on your cell phone while driving.

They'll also be looking at essentially decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

While some say that will bring revenue, others say it could condone drug use.

Alderman P.J. Foley is looking at both sides of the issue.

"I think the pro is you take it away from the state court. The money, now that it's a civil penalty, the fine of between $300 and $800 would come to the city of Rock Island instead of going to the state. It does lessen on the state courts where it doesn't clog up the court system so much.

"The cons though, should this be a criminal penalty? It's something we all have to take a look at."

Galesburg, Ill. passed a similar ordinance last month.

Now, instead of possession being a misdemeanor under state law, it's simply a violation carrying a $300 fine.

City leaders say that will generate up to $30,000 in revenue each year.

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