JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -

Greene County may get some new money for fixing up its courts facilities. The Missouri General Assembly overwhelmingly approved legislation advanced by Rep. Kevin Austin, (R) Springfield, and Sen. Bob Dixon, (R) Springfield, to improve local court facilities. “This legislation reflects our deep concern about the safety of citizens and justice system staff,” Austin said. “We must make certain that our court facilities are not overwhelmed by the demands being placed on them.”

A provision of the bill provides the governing bodies of Greene County and the City of Springfield with the local option of collecting a $10 surcharge on criminal court cases and ordinance violations. The funds raised would be dedicated to the maintenance, construction or improvement of court facilities. The revenue generated from municipal violations would represent a portion of the cost to construct a new municipal court facility to replace the current building, once the site of a cafeteria.

“Access to justice should be swift, but it must also be safe,” pointed out Sen. Dixon. “Citizens have a right to their day in court, as our constitution guarantees. We must invest in the infrastructure necessary to provide these core constitutional services to the people of Greene County. I want to thank Rep. Austin and the area delegation for their leadership on this issue in the House.”