In FY 2015, municipal courts issued 1.738 million arrest warrants for Class C misdemeanors, roughly the same as FY 20142 1.731 million and a few more than the 1.667 million in 2013. But check out the totals for the years before that:
2012: 1.871 millionHowever, another bit of datum I noticed was counterintuitive: Revenues from municipal courts did NOT decline as rapidly as the number of warrants issued. The number of Class C arrest warrants dropped 42 percent from 2011 to 2013, for example, rising slightly thereafter. Revenue from municipal courts, however, only dropped 3.1 percent from 2011 to 2013. Even by 2015, municipal court revenue had only dropped 7 percent, though the reductions in ticketing had been in place for several years.
2011: 2.870 million
2010: 2.754 million
2009: 2.708 million
2008: 2.534 million
2007: 2.375 million
2006: 2.046 million
2005: 2.290 million
2004: 2.100 million
One could hypothesize a number of explanations for that outcome, but it's hard to be sure from the information in the above sources. Maybe it means more money was extracted per arrest warrant even as the total warrants declined. Maybe it means the reduction in traffic tickets and warrants somehow caused more defendants to successfully complete their payment terms. Hard to tell from the information available, even if a cynic's suspicions might be raised. So make of that anomaly what you will.
One thing this does show us is that limiting municipal judges' ability to issue arrest warrants or empowering them to waive fees instead of issue warrants won't necessarily result in a big revenue hit. When arrest warrant totals declined over the last few years by steep margins, the resulting revenue drop empirically was (to me) surprisingly small.