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Pa. Lawmakers Move Forward With Plan To Eliminate Philadelphia’s Traffic Court

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(Philadelphia Traffic Court, in file photo.   Credit: CBS3)

(Philadelphia Traffic Court, in file photo. Credit: CBS3)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — The Pennsylvania state Senate has unanimously passed and sent to the House a pair of measures that would eliminate Philadelphia’s scandal-plagued Traffic Court.

One bill would eliminate Traffic Court in all but name only, transferring its functions to Municipal Court.

The other measure would allow for an amendment to the state constitution to formally eliminate it -– a longer and more complicated process.

State senator Mike Stack (D-Phila.) says that while he supports the change, he is concerned about Traffic Court employees who are honest and hardworking, “and have nothing to do with the terrible news stories and the issues with the indictments [see related stories].  I would hope that we make sure we look out for them, and we don’t throw the baby out with the bath water and end up taking away a lot of jobs of folks that are just trying to work hard and support their families.”

The legislation now goes to the House, where a spokesman for the majority leader says the plan is to hold at least one hearing in Philadelphia before bringing the measures up for a vote in that chamber, likely this spring.

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