The Senate Transportation Committee has advanced legislation sponsored by Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) that would provide municipalities with a share of the motor vehicle fines collected through tickets issued by the State Police within their borders.
Currently, all motor vehicle fines, penalties and forfeiture moneys generated through those tickets issued by troopers are paid to the State Treasurer.
“When a local police officer issues a traffic ticket, the municipality collects half of the fine revenues to offset the cost of enforcement and running the local court where the ticket may be contested,” said Doherty. “An identical ticket issued by a state trooper may end up in the same courtroom, but the town doesn’t currently get a share of the fine to help cover expenses, putting the burden on property taxpayers. This legislation addresses that inequity.””
Under the legislation, S-568, one-third of fines, penalties and forfeitures would be directed to the municipality where the violation occurred to defray local costs, and two-thirds would continue to be directed to the state treasury.
“Municipal courts cost money to run, and the burden of that expense should be borne by those who break the law whenever possible,” added Doherty. “That’s not always the case right not, but that’s something we can fix.”
The Senate Transportation Committee approved the bill in a 5-0 vote.