Missouri Supreme Court weighs cap on traffic, court fees

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – Missouri Supreme Court judges are weighing arguments over the constitutionality of a law capping traffic fines and court fees.

A lawyer for several St. Louis suburbs told judges in the capital courthouse Wednesday that the law unfairly targets those cities.

At issue is a law that limits the amount of revenue most cities can keep from traffic fines and court fees from 30 percent to 20 percent of their budgets. St. Louis County municipalities face a 12.5 percent cap.

Legislators passed the law after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown, which led to scrutiny of municipal courts in Ferguson and nearby towns.

An attorney for the state argued that the lower cap is based on population, and that other municipalities could face similar restrictions later.