The Senate has passed a bill that would reduce the amount of a city’s annual revenue that can come from traffic tickets. The measure would drop the cap from 30% to 12.5% for St. Louis County and from 30% to 20% for all other municipalities in Missouri.
Bill sponsor Senator Eric Schmitt (R-Glendale) says traffic ticket quotas are real.
“There are municipalities that are budgeting more for traffic tickets and fines for the next year. I think that’s a mentality that we’ve got to start to look at,” said Schmitt. “That isn’t what this country is supposed to be about. We have an opportunity, reflecting on what these injustices have been and the breakdown that has taken place between people and the trust that they have with their government and court system.”
Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-University City) says her constituents believe the system has been broken for a very long time.
“They don’t believe that municipal government is working,” said Chappelle-Nadal. “They don’t believe that state government is working. They don’t believe that institutions and systems are working on their behalf.”
The bill would also limit the maximum cost for a traffic ticket violation and court costs to $300 collectively. The charge for failure to appear in court was dropped and a maximum limit of two days to appear before a judge for minor traffic offenses was also included.
The House is expected to vote on the proposal Thursday.