For Immediate Release:
Feb. 12, 2015

Contact: Kack Haslag
(573) 751-2853

Sen. Schmitt's Municipal Court Reform Legislation
Approved by the Senate

JEFFERSON CITY—The Missouri Senate today gave unanimous approval by a vote of 34-0 to Senate Bill 5, legislation sponsored by Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, to reform municipalities that abuse traffic fines to pad local budgets. The measure caps the amount of revenue at municipality can generate from traffic tickets to 10 percent. Senate Bill 5 now moves to the House for debate.

“The passage of Senate Bill 5 would rein in abusive traffic ticket schemes and protect the public,” said Sen. Schmitt. “Government should exist to serve its citizens, not extort them. A 34-0 vote sends a strong sign that changes are needed, and is a big step toward ending government by speed trap and taxation by citation.”

Under the legislation, 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.

Municipal court reform is one of the Legislature’s top priorities for the 2015 session. Senator Schmitt, a staunch advocate of responsible government, has led the effort in the upper chamber.

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