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Dayton Granted Temporary Injunction Halting New State Traffic Camera Mandates

Robert Couse-Baker
Flickr/Creative Commons

A judge has granted the city of Dayton’s request for an injunction, putting on hold some provisions in the recently passed state transportation budget. City officials had sued the state over the provisions reducing local state government funding by every dollar generated by red light camera ticketing programs.

Dayton argued the provisions violate the city’s established right to home rule.

The state transportation budget passed last month also contained other provisions the city argues are unconstitutional. They include requiring traffic tickets to be processed in court rather than through an administrative process.

John Musto, chief trial counsel for Dayton, says the judge's ruling on Wednesday puts these provisions on hold temporarily.

"The court found that the city was likely to prevail on the merits of the claims that specific facts in the verify claim showed that there was immediate and irreparable harm to the city of Dayton And that is outweighed any arguments or negative issues that the state had brought up," says Musto.

The decision, he says, mirrors a similar one by the Ohio Supreme Court when the city sued the state over the requirement that police officers must be stationed at camera sites in order to issue any citations. In that case, the state’s high court struck down the requirement.

"It's just unfortunate that additional legislation was passed placing what we believe to be unconstitutional restrictions on our home rule, our rights, and our municipal legislative authority," he says.

Musto says the court of common pleas is expected to make a decision on whether to make it permanent after August 14. If that happens, the state will be eligible to appeal the decision.

In the meantime, the city of Dayton is free to continue issuing red light camera citations.

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Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.