Cities defend traffic fine revenue to Missouri House panel

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Some leaders of St. Louis County cities say they should not be painted with the same broad brush as Ferguson just because they enforce traffic laws and write tickets.

Officials from St. Louis area municipalities told a House committee Wednesday they opposed a measure to lower the percentage of general revenue cities can get from traffic fines and fees from 30 percent to 10 percent.

Supporters say municipal courts should not be used as a revenue source to fund cities. That echoes criticism from a Justice Department report that Ferguson police and courts served revenue generators.

Matt Conley, a city administrator for St. Ann, says enforcement has reduced traffic accidents on highways. He says the revenue is used to catch speeders and enforce the law, not for other services.