State Auditor Nicole Galloway invites public to attend hearing on Municipal Court Reform rules on Nov. 2
Comments may be provided at the hearing, written comments accepted through Nov. 6.
JEFFERSON CITY, MO (Oct. 28, 2015) The Office of Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway will hold a public hearing on a series of proposed rules to guide local governments in reporting compliance with recent municipal court reform legislation. The hearing will be held on Monday, Nov. 2, beginning at 9 a.m. at 301 W. High St., Room 492 of the Truman State Office Building. The meeting will also be lived streamed through Periscope.
“Missouri residents expect transparency and accountability at all levels, yet many Missourians have lost faith in government, including their own local government and court systems,” Auditor Galloway said. “Reforming our municipal courts is one way we can transform local governments and restore trust in the system. I encourage interested citizens and groups to review my office’s proposed rules and be part of the conversation that will change the way Missouri’s municipal courts and local governments operate.”
These rules provide a framework that local governments will use to submit information to the State Auditor’s Office regarding new requirements set forth in Senate Bill 5. The legislation restricts the percentage of revenue counties or municipalities can generate from fines, bond forfeitures and court costs for minor traffic violations.
The law also provides the State Auditor’s Office with additional tools to identify problem areas in municipal court operations. In accordance with the law, the office will begin requiring local governments to include additional information with their required annual financial reports, including certification of the percent of revenue generated from fines, bond forfeitures and court costs for minor traffic violations. The local governments will also be required to include certification of court compliance with a series of municipal court reforms. These reforms include ending the practice of holding a defendant in custody for more than 24 hours without a warrant, prohibiting use of jail time in order to force payment, implementing payment plans and community service alternatives, and holding court proceedings in locations that are accessible by the public.
The proposed rules give guidance on how this information is to be provided to the State Auditor’s Office.
Comments on the proposed rules can be made in person at a public hearing on Monday, Nov. 2, beginning at 9 a.m. at 301 W. High St., Room 492 of the Truman State Office Building in Jefferson City.
Written comments may be mailed to: Missouri State Auditor’s Office, General Counsel Paul Harper, P.O. Box 869, Jefferson City, MO 65102 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The public comment period opened Oct. 1 and comments will continue to be accepted through Nov. 6, 2015.
The hearing will be live streamed on Periscope beginning at 9 a.m., and can be accessed by following @MOAuditorNews on Twitter or Periscope.
The proposed rules are posted online.