Rhode Island Senate Passes Bill Making Tree Debris a Form of Vandalism - Granite Grok

Rhode Island Senate Passes Bill Making Tree Debris a Form of Vandalism

Vandalism in Rhode Island!
Vandalism in Rhode Island! – A Serious First World Problem… Solved?

From the “They will eventually regulate everything” file, (WPRO630 Rhode Island)

The (Rhode Island) state Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would require homeowners to prune their shrubbery and trees or face a $500 fine if plant litter lands on someone else’s property.

Senators voted 26-6 to pass the bill that would require homeowners to maintain and control any debris created by a tree or shrubs if it causes a nuisance to an abutting property owner.

The change would fall under criminal offenses, Trespass and Vandalism. So, if your tree drops debris on your neighbor’s property, you could be fined $500.00 for illegal trespass and vandalism.

The bill’s sponsor, Democratic Sen. Frank Ciccone, said he introduced the legislation after listening to concerns about pine trees from residents in his Silver Lake district of Providence.

Pine trees are “nice in the forest, nice in certain areas, but they shed these pine needles and sap on to adjacent vehicles and driveways,” he said.

Silver Lake is not some pish-posh, hoity-toity part of town where well-to-do worry about getting tree sap on the Bimmer. According to Wikipedia is was a prominent Italian-American neighborhood but has been shifting demographically toward a Hispanic population. Anyone with a BMW is living in it, or probably not in Silver Lake for long. My point is that it is low income and a bit more down to earth so why did someone in Silver Lake complain to State Sen. Frank Ciccone about making falling pine needles a crime and why did he take such a request seriously?

I can see it happening, don’t get me wrong. New Hampshire has more than its fair share of stupid every session, and not just the big stupid like cell phone bans or Medicaid Expansion. I’m talking nipples, wood smoke, naming dirt the state dirt–OK, I made that last one up, but you get the idea. It’s almost as if these folks a) have no filter for stupid, and/or b) clearly spend too much time at the state house?

In my legislative utopia, workers take a week or two off to make sure the state has a minimal budget to operate and then it’s back to the fields, or bustling internet startup, local eatery, or whatever. Sure, you’d be around the district more, and that will always lend itself to probing questions from constituents about needing the legislature to do something about this or that, but with so little time to work at the capitol, only the most necessary proposals would have time for any sort of hearing.

This would drive the lunatics to seek solace in the warm embrace of more local government, where stupid has to stand up next to its neighbors and explain why the town needs to fine people when pine needles from a tree three generations older than anyone in the room find their way on to someone else’s property for the umpteenth year in a row thanks to gravity, wind, or whatever.


Speaking of crazy, did anyone on the Island of Rhode consult the tree-huggers about this? RI must have its fair share of Fair-Trade Latte drinking, Birkenstock wearing, Whole Foods Shopping, environmentalists. How do they feel about the state (essentially) mandating the de-limbing of hundreds of thousands of trees by residents looking to avoid being fined for every coniferous clamjamfry that takes place on their neighbor’s lawn?

Or are all the environmentalists also lawyers, because lawyers must love the income potential of this bit of centrally planned voodoo.

Your Honor, my client contends that the debris in question, while identical to tress in his own yard, was actually blown onto the abutters property by the weather, which was clearly impacted by Global warming. As such, we would like to sue the Koch brothers for emotional damage resulting from the incident, which would also make them responsible for the $500.00 fine the state may have inadvertently demanded of my client.

Why not sue whoever planted the tree or better yet allowed the tree to grow to maturity in the first place. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? A multi-million-dollar Federal grant to train and deploy Arboreal Abortionists. They could work out of NASA’s office of Muslim Outreach!

Is it possible that Democrat State Senator Frank Ciccone owns a landscaping or tree business? Does he have “friends” in the tree business, if you know what I mean? Is he “in the pocket” of Big Wood? Tree companies could make a tidy windfall from such a change, and not just as expert witnesses in testimony over whether the “needles in question” were of the proper (type) and dispersed of a manner (relative) to the disposition of adjacent flora. The Big Wood lobby in Rhode Island could help write the rules for removing limbs whose needles or leaves (in the case of deciduous plants) might migrate unintentionally onto an abutters unsuspecting landscape.

Feel the power of the dark side…

All kidding aside, and dark side, aside, I suspect, and not just because this is Rhode Island, that what we are actually seeing here is just another example of Democrats regulating everything because a) they can and b) think they should. No, it’s not just Democrats. More and more ‘Republicans’ have the ruling class fever as well and seek a taste of the sort of fame and fortune one acquires when a Democrat sponsors a bill with the unintended consequence of deforesting local neighborhoods to keep global warming from blowing debris into a neighbor’s yard.

No, it is not law. It must still pass the House, where a similar bill died last year.  We can only hope, for Rhode Island’s sake, it dies there again this time around.


H/T John Burt