Diehl proposes changes to handling Missouri traffic fines
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Missouri's Republican House speaker is proposing a number of changes to how traffic violations are handled to address concerns raised by the fatal police shooting in Ferguson.
The shooting of black 18-year-old Michael Brown by a white officer led to criticism that some cities excessively fine residents to fund their budgets.
House Speaker John Diehl of Town and Country on Wednesday announced proposed changes to prevent that from happening. Those include limiting cities from funding more than 20 percent of their budgets from fines.
Another proposal would require courts to consider a defendant's ability to pay fines and offer alternative payment plans, such as paying online or community service.
The Senate bill now is pending in a House committee. Diehl says he expects it will win approval within days.
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