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Pa. Lawmakers Take Another Step Toward Abolishing Troubled Phila. Traffic Court

(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

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Legislation that would abolish the corruption-plagued Philadelphia Traffic Court has cleared another hurdle in the Pennsylvania state legislature, and appears to be on course for final action before lawmakers break for the summer.

The House Judiciary Committee in Harrisburg has overwhelmingly approved a pair of bills already passed by the state Senate that would transfer the duties of Traffic Court, which adjudicates moving violations, to Philadelphia Municipal Court.

The lone “no” vote on the committee came from Rep. Vanessa Brown (D-Phila.), who expressed concerns about the costs and questioned why there is a rush to abolish Traffic Court instead of just weeding out corruption.

“As a person of color, I’m sorry, I just see that when it comes to Philadelphia and the people I represent, I don’t see that justice is always equal,” she said.

A spokesman for the House majority leader says he believes there’s broad support for abolishing Traffic Court and he expects a full House vote in June.

The committee amended one of the bills, however, meaning it would have to go back to the state senate. But a spokesman for the Senate majority leader, who sponsored the legislation, says he’s on board with the amendment.

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