SB 79 - This act modifies various provisions relating to revenues collected in minor traffic and municipal ordinance violations and municipal court procedure in such cases.
This act modifies the definition of the terms "annual general operating revenue" and "minor traffic violation" as applied in provisions regarding the assessment of fines in minor traffic violation and municipal ordinance violation cases. "Annual general operating revenue" now includes, rather than excludes, designated sales or use taxes, restricted user fees, grant funds, funds expended for technological assistance and other revenue designated for a specific purpose. The term "minor traffic violation" now excludes, rather than includes, amended charges.
A court shall not assess a fine and court costs in excess of $500, rather than $225, in minor traffic violations. For multiple municipal ordinance violations committed within a 12 month period, a court shall not assess a fine and court costs in excess of $300 for second offense ordinance violations, rather than $275, $400 for third offense ordinance violations, rather than $350, and $500 for fourth and subsequent ordinance violations, rather than $450.
The act repeals certain exemptions from paying court costs in minor traffic violations and municipal ordinance violations for defendants who are indigent.
Currently, not more than twenty percent of a municipality's annual general operating revenue can come from certain fines, penalties, and forfeitures. The act repeals court costs and amended charges for municipal ordinance violations from being included in the twenty percent calculation. This act also removes a provision specifying that beginning January 1, 2016, the previous thirty percent limitation on municipal income shall be reduced to twenty percent except in St. Louis County, where it shall be reduced to twelve and one half percent.
Current law requires counties and towns with a municipal court to file with the State Auditor a report demonstrating compliance with certain municipal court procedures. This act repeals the requirement that the court establish procedures to allow indigent defendants to present evidence of their financial condition. The act also repeals the municipal court requirements that community service alternatives are to be offered at no cost to the defendant, and that no additional charge shall be issued for the failure to appear for a minor traffic violation.
Finally, the act repeals provisions which establish procedures to dissolve a municipal government when it fails to remit the revenue collected from certain fines, penalties, and forfeitures in excess of twenty percent to the Department of Revenue.
This act is identical to SB 692 (2018) and substantially similar to SB 520 (2017). Additionally, certain provisions of this act are identical to provisions contained in SB 81 (2017).