For Immediate Release:
Feb. 10, 2015

Contact: Kack Haslag
(573) 751-2853

Sen. Schmitt's Legislation to Rein in Abusive Traffic Ticket Schemes Given First Round Approval by Senate

JEFFERSON CITY—The Missouri Senate today gave initial approval to Senate Bill 5, legislation sponsored by Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, to prevent municipalities from using unfair traffic ticketing practices for the sole purpose of increasing local revenue.

The bill was named a top priority at the beginning of the 2015 session. Senator Schmitt has led that effort in the Legislature.

“The Senate’s approval of Senate Bill 5 today is victory for the citizens of our state, and a strong rebuke against municipalities padding their local budgets through abusive traffic ticket schemes,” said Sen. Schmitt. “As lawmakers, we have to rein in this practice, which all too often falls on the backs of lower-income citizens. I was proud to see my Senate colleagues recognize the need for this reform and work with me on this critical piece of legislation.”

Under Senate Bill 5, a municipality may only fund up to 10 percent of its budget with traffic fines. The reduction would be phased in over two years. Additionally, the bill has provisions that create penalties if political subdivisions do not remit money over the threshold: 1) people in the city will get the opportunity to vote on municipal disincorporation; and 2) the excess revenue will be distributed to local schools, enforced by the Department of Revenue.

During debate on the floor, amendments were added to the bill to strengthen its ability to rein in municipalities that abuse traffic ticketing while addressing some concerns of rural communities in Missouri.

Senate Bill 5 needs a final vote in the upper chamber before moving onto the House for consideration.

For more information on Senate Bill 5, visit Sen. Schmitt’s official Senate website at