MO House Eases up on JeffCo with SB5 Amendment

16 Apr

SB5 is the bill the state Senate passed to reduce the percentage of general revenue a city can obtain from traffic tickets. The current cap is a poorly enforced 30%. SB5, which passed unanimously, reduces that to 20% statewide, and then in 2017 would reduce the cap in first class or charter counties to 10%. The 10% provision would cover 19 counties including Jefferson.

However, according to the Post-Dispatch, a state House committee amended the bill so that the cap would be reduced to 15% in St. Louis County. Elsewhere, including JeffCo, the cap would become 20% (see amendment text here on page 36).

This change from a 10% cap to a 20% cap spares Festus, Hillsboro, and Pevely from being affected by this bill, based on 2013 numbers. Byrnes Mill would still be affected, since it was at 26% last year, but the city’s revenue would take much less of a hit. Note that the 26% number includes non-traffic tickets, which aren’t included in SB5’s calculations.

However, the House amendment adds something that would hit Byrnes Mill and Hillsboro – a provision limiting total fines plus court costs for minor traffic violations to $200. As I showed here, these two cities have a few fines that exceed $200. These would have to be reduced under this law. Note that driving more than 19 miles over the speed limit does not count as a minor violation.

It should be noted that this is merely an amendment passed by a committee. The House Select Committee on the Judiciary will take up this bill next, then it will go to the House floor. If the House passes the bill, the House and Senate would then have to reconcile their bills before sending one to the Governor.

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