No one in my home state of Missouri will forget what happened in Ferguson on August 9, 2014. The police shooting and the aftermath shined a spotlight on this North St. Louis County community, not far from where I grew up. Most importantly, it revealed a breakdown of trust between citizens and abusive local governments; and a path forward. Two years after this tragic episode Missouri continues to enact social justice reforms rooted in the principles of greater accountability and smaller government to help ensure something like this does not happen again in Missouri. After the events in Ferguson, municipal governments, especially in the St. Louis area, were exposed for treating their citizens as nothing more than ATMs to expand bloated municipal governments. Many were caught engaging in traffic ticket schemes, using their police forces to write as many citations as possible to increase their revenue. Even worse, these traffic ticket schemes disproportionately hurt the poor and disadvantaged who are often unable to pay the fine or court costs. Many citizens were jailed over unpaid traffic ticket fines. These Missourians can’t go to work or raise a family when they’ve been jailed over a traffic ticket. For law enforcement forced to write traffic tickets, these schemes severely damaged the relationship between police and citizens. I’ve spoken to hundreds of law enforcement agents and not one has told me they were inspired to become a police officer because they wanted to write traffic tickets all day. Over the last two years we successfully enacted legislation to end “taxation by citation.” In 2015, the Missouri legislature passed historic municipal court reform following the unrest in Ferguson. I worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass Senate Bill 5 making significant reforms aimed at ending taxation by citation in Missouri. Our legislation caps the amount of revenue Missouri municipalities may generate from traffic tickets and requires municipalities to meet minimum standards, including a balanced annual budget, police department accreditation, access to a complete set of ordinances and other measures to reform local government. Our reforms give citizens the ability to vote to disincorporate their municipality if bureaucrats are keeping excess revenue from traffic tickets and betraying the trust of citizens. This year, we continued our work with Senate Bill 572, adding non-moving violations to the list of violations for which municipal revenue is limited. This achievement will curb the practice of government bureaucrats writing tickets for mismatched blinds, front-yard grills and other silly violations enacted by local governments to increase revenue. We also passed Senate Bill 765, prohibiting municipalities from instituting traffic ticket quotas. Reform is never easy and there are municipalities fighting to maintain the status quo. They are surviving on borrowed time. We continue to fight these bureaucrats and are confident that taxation by citation will soon be coming to an end. Our efforts in Missouri are rooted in the belief that government is supposed to work for the people and not to grow government’s reach and influence by abusive schemes.