Twelve St. Louis County cities have filed a suit to stop a new law that would limit how much they could rely on petty traffic tickets for generating revenue.

The lawsuit against Senate Bill 5 was filed in Cole County Court, where state offices are located, by David Pittinsky, a senior litigation partner at Ballard Spahr, headquartered in Philadelphia. The suit calls foul on a provision in the law barring St. Louis County cities from incorporating more than 12.5 percent of traffic-fine revenue into their budgets, when cities in the rest of the state have a 20 percent ceiling. That makes it an unconstitutional “special law,” according to the suit. The suit alleged this discrepancy is “an extraordinary act of overt discrimination.”

“Had the General Assembly passed a bill that applied to all 114 counties and had them all at 20 percent and had provided all the funding for all the new responsibilities, I probably wouldn’t be here,” Pittinsky said.

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