House OKs part of Philly traffic court abolishment

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s House of Representatives endorsed a proposed constitutional change that’s part of a plan to dismantle the scandal-ridden Philadelphia Traffic Court.

The House voted 117-81 on Tuesday to join the Senate in supporting a constitutional amendment that would abolish the city’s unique traffic court mandate.

A second round of approvals by both houses in the next two-year legislative session is also required before it could be put to a statewide referendum in 2015.

A companion bill, still pending in the House, would transfer the traffic court’s duties to the Philadelphia Municipal Court.

Opponents of the legislation say the fact that nine current or former traffic judges have been charged in a ticket-fixing scheme is no reason to overhaul the city’s judicial system and deprive local voters of choosing traffic judges.

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