Panel OKs Missouri bill to limit traffic fine collection
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - A Missouri bill to limit the amount cities can collect in traffic fines has support from a state Senate panel.
Senators approved legislation Wednesday by Republican Sen. Eric Schmitt of Glendale to prevent municipalities from funding more than 10 percent of their budgets with traffic fines.
Current law allows cities and towns to collect traffic fines amounting to as much as 30 percent of their budgets.
Traffic fines are among the issues cited by protesters after the fatal police shooting of black 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson. Brown was shot while walking, but protesters have raised concerns about frequent police stops.
Schmitt and some protesters say the traffic tickets also can unfairly hurt low-income residents, who might face jail time or increased fees if they don't pay fines in time.