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Ohio’s budget act, HB 64, requires that municipalities operating traffic cameras in violation of state restrictions lose local government funding from the state in the amount equal to the fines collected from the cameras.  The Ohio legislature recently enacted restrictions on traffic cameras, such as requiring police officers to be present, and other restrictions. See SB 342.  Several county courts held these traffic camera restrictions in violation of the Ohio Constitution’s home rule provisions.  See our prior post:  State Restrictions on Traffic Cameras Violate Home Rule, Says Lucas County Court.  These cases are pending on appeal.

Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Andy Douglas testified that because the HB 64 provisions rely upon an unconstitutional law (SB 342), the traffic camera provisions of HB 64 fail of their own weight .Douglas Testimony.  Justice Douglas also warned that the traffic camera provisions of HB 64 set a dangerous precedent that the legislature could use in the future to undermine or even eliminate municipal home rule powers.   Also see Cleveland.com:  Punishing cities that defy traffic-camera rules could cause ‘constitutional crisis,’ ex-Supreme Court justice warns.

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