Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Friday signed legislation mainly designed to reform municipal courts in Ferguson and other parts of the St. Louis area.
Senate Bill 572, which takes effect in August, reduces municipal court fines and eliminates jail time for many offenses. It was designed to rectify exorbitant fines and debtor prisons in some communities.
But Kansas City officials say those abuses were not present here. They worry that reducing fines and eliminating jail time for neighborhood nuisances and minor traffic offenses will increase blight and hurt public safety.