SB 5 Modifies distribution of traffic fines and court costs collected by municipal courts
Sponsor: Schmitt Co-Sponsor(s)
LR Number: 0455S.18T Fiscal Notes
Committee: Jobs, Economic Development and Local Government
Last Action: 7/9/2015 - Signed by Governor Journal Page: S1740
Title: CCS HCS SS SCS SB 5 Calendar Position:
Effective Date: August 28, 2015
House Handler: Cornejo

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Current Bill Summary


CCS/HCS/SS/SCS/SB 5 - This act modifies provisions relating to local government.

MUNICIPAL MINIMUM STANDARDS (Section 67.287)

This provision creates minimum standards for municipal governance and creates a remedy process for citizens who believe the minimum standards are not being met.

NOTIFICATION OF CREATION AND DISSOLUTION OF MUNICIPAL COURTS (Section 479.155)

This provision requires the presiding judge of the circuit court in which each municipal division is located to notify the clerk of the Supreme Court of the name and address of the municipal division by September 1, 2016. This provision also requires the presiding judge of the circuit court in which each municipal division is located to notify the clerk of the Supreme Court if a municipality elects to abolish the municipal division. This provision also requires the Missouri Supreme Court to develop rules regarding conflict of interest for any prosecutor, defense attorney, or judge that has a pending case before the municipal division of any circuit court.

CONDITIONS FOR MINOR TRAFFIC VIOLATIONS (Section 479.353)

These provisions create conditions for the prosecution of minor traffic violations including: limiting the fines imposed when combined with court costs to $300, prohibiting sentencing to confinement for the underlying violation (except for certain classes of violation) or failure to pay a fine (except when a violation of terms of probation), and requiring criminal case court costs to be assessed unless the defendant is indigent or the case is dismissed.

INCOME TAX REFUND SETOFF TO PAY FINES (479.356)

This provision allows for a request for an income tax refund setoff for unpaid court costs, fines, fees, or other sums ordered by a municipal court in excess of twenty-five dollars.

MACK'S CREEK LAW (Section 479.359)

This provision replaces the restrictions on annual general operating revenue from traffic fines originally contained in section 302.341, which this act repeals. This provision requires the limit on annual general operating revenue from traffic fines to be reduced from 30% to 20% effective January 1, 2016, except for municipalities with a fiscal year beginning on any date other than January 1, in which case the reduction shall begin on the first day of the immediately following fiscal year. St. Louis County and municipalities within that county are restricted to 12.5% of annual general operating revenue from traffic fines.

FINANCIAL REPORT ADDENDUMS (Sections 479.359 and 479.360)

These provisions require all counties, cities, towns, and villages to submit an addendum with their annual financial report to the State Auditor with an accounting of annual general operating revenue, total revenues from fines, bond forfeitures, and court costs for traffic violations, and the percent of annual general operating revenue from traffic violations. This addendum shall be signed by a representative with knowledge of the subject matter as to the accuracy of the addendum contents, under oath and under penalty of perjury, and witnessed by a notary public. These provisions also require all counties, cities, towns, and villages to submit an addendum signed by its municipal judge certifying substantial compliance with certain municipal court procedures.

REVIEW OF ANNUAL GENERAL OPERATING REVENUE (Section 479.362)

These provisions require the State Auditor to report to the Director of Revenue whether or not the financial report addendums were timely filed and to forward all addendums to the Director of Revenue. These provisions also require the Director of Revenue to review the addendums filed by municipalities as required in section 479.359 and 479.360 to determine if any municipality failed to file the required addendums or remit excess revenues. Municipalities determined by the Director of Revenue to have failed to remit the excess amount of annual general operating revenue or file the required addendums may seek judicial review of the finding by the Director of Revenue under certain circumstances. Upon final determination made that a municipality failed to remit excess revenues or timely file the addendums, any matters pending in the municipal court shall be certified to the circuit court in which the municipal division is located and reassigned to other divisions within the circuit court and all revenues generated shall be considered excess revenues and the municipal court with original jurisdiction shall not be entitled to the revenues.

FAILURE TO TIMELY FILE OR REMIT EXCESS REVENUES (Section 479.368)

These provisions provide that any county, city, town, or village failing to timely file or remit excess revenues from traffic fines shall not receive any amount of moneys to which the county, city, town, or village would otherwise be entitled to receive from local sales tax revenues during the period of noncompliance for failure to file and the amount that the county, city, town, or village failed to remit to the Director of the Department of Revenue shall be distributed to the schools in the county. These provisions also provide that any county, city, town, or village failing to timely file or remit excess revenues from traffic fines shall not receive any amount of moneys to which the county, city, town, or village would otherwise be entitled to receive from county sales tax pool revenues during the period of noncompliance for failure to file and the amount that the county, city, town, or village failed to remit to the Director of the Department of Revenue shall be distributed to the schools in the county. These provisions also require an election automatically be held upon the question of disincorporation for any county, city, town, or village which has failed to remit excess revenues. The Director is required to notify the election authorities and the county governing body in which the city, town, or village is located of the election. The county governing body is required to give notice of the election for eight consecutive weeks prior to the election by publication. Upon the affirmative vote of sixty percent of those persons voting on the question, the county governing body is required to disincorporate the city, town, or village. For disincorporation of a county, the procedure shall comply with Article VI, Section 5 of the Constitution of Missouri.

SEVERABILITY

This provision provides that if any provision of this act or their application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this act which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are severable.

MICHELA BIRK