As many of you know, starting January 1, first minor-in-possession offenses will be treated as civil infractions not misdemeanors.
I simply want to raise the question of financial implications.
Fines for MIPs were $500. They will now be $100.
In FY 2013 budget, District Court Fines (parking fines are a separate budget item) were expected to be $2,000,000, in FY 2018 budget, $1,375,000. One factor is probably that community policing has already reduced the number of MIPs, as well as other reasons for fewer fines.
The city should have hard numbers as to how many MIPs and how much in fine revenues for FY 2016, FY 2017, and July-December 2017.
The other side of the equation is charges for MIPs by the city attorney, which should not be necessary for civil infractions.
The District Court Retainer in the December city attorney billing record shows fiscal year to date (July-December) as having used 918 of 3350 budgeted hours, most of which has gone for police court, which would include MIPs.
Both these should necessitate Council approving a revised FY 2018 budget, which will be worth noting.