This past session I helped lead an effort to achieve historic reforms of our municipal courts. I helped put a stop to local bureaucrats using taxpayers as ATMs to prop up their bloated local governments. In 2016, we will go even further.
Last session, Senate Bill 5 set limits on the revenue a city may collect from traffic tickets and fines. I filed legislation this year to limit how much revenue cities can raise from all ordinance violations. There is a real concern that local governments will launch a new wave of taxation by citation schemes to make up for revenue they will lose after the passage of Senate Bill 5. I want to stop revenue-generating schemes that employ new ways to target citizens’ wallets.
It is unconscionable cities would use fine money, whether from traffic tickets or trivial violations like the location of one’s barbecue grill or the way their blinds are hanging, to prop up their salaries. It is also disturbing to know that local bureaucrats are roaming neighborhoods looking at the yards and windows of private homes to seek new revenue. Missourians don’t want their local governments subscribing to a big government mentality – a mentality used to fleece their residents of their hard-earned dollars.
To further halt the abuses of bureaucrats, I filed legislation to ban the use of ticket quotas. The legislation will ban direct or implied quotas from being imposed on our officers.
With this reform, citizens will no longer be viewed as ATMs and sources of revenue. We all agree the law must be followed and enforced, but imposing quotas and taxation by citation schemes only serves the purposes of bureaucrats, clinging to their power. This reform will also allow police officers to serve and protect their citizens, and not force them to focus on generating revenue for their cities.
There are some bureaucrats in these municipalities so desperate to hold on to power they have filed a baseless lawsuit against our reform and are using taxpayer dollars to pay for it. They know their days of holding the poor and disadvantaged hostage to fines and revenue schemes are coming to an end. Their actions have emboldened us to do more to stop the tricks and schemes they employ to squeeze our vulnerable.
Reform is here today – more reform is coming.