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State, cities battle over money from traffic fines

August 28, 2010 |  4:52 pm

The state Senate has approved a bill that seeks to halt a recent trend by cities that have diverted traffic ticket fines from the state to municipal coffers.

"Several local governments have recently made it their official policy to substitute their own local ordinances for defined violations and penalties in the state's vehicle code for moving violations," said Sen. Jenny Oropeza (D-Long Beach), who authored the bill.

By writing the tickets for speeding as violations of their own municipal ordinances instead of state law, cities have been able to keep more of the revenue from fines, she said.

The bill says that local authorities, who already get a share of ticket fines, cannot enact or enforce an ordinance involving violations covered by the state vehicle code. The measure was opposed by cities including Los Angeles, Costa Mesa and Fremont.

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento