By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio
Jefferson City, Mo. – Governor Jay Nixon this afternoon signed the first bill of the 2010 session into law.
It reverses a 2009 law that reclassified some minor traffic offenses as infractions instead of misdemeanors, to help courts handle the cases more efficiently.
But several prosecutors and judges interpreted the law to mean that state troopers no longer had the authority to write tickets for infractions.
State Representative Scott Lipke (R, Jackson) sponsored the bill that reverses last year's law.
"The main clarification we were trying to attain today was to make sure that those infractions are still dealt with as misdemeanors...infraction cases are hanging in the balance that as of February 28th, the statute of limitations would run on some of those," Lipke said.
Thousands of traffic cases had been placed in limbo by the now-defunct law. Governor Nixon signed the bill hours after the Missouri House passed it.