Taylor Votes: HB 727 – Fireworks Regulation

Tom’s vote:  YES

HB 727 regulates where and when fireworks can be exploded. This bill makes it unlawful to explode fireworks within five yards of an overhead obstruction or across or into a public road. Fireworks may not be used in close proximity to electric plants, waste water treatment plants, jails, prisons, hospitals, and nursing homes. It is unlawful to explode fireworks at public gatherings where the local fire department or the state fire marshal determines that such conduct would be unreasonable. Also, it is unlawful and punishable as a misdemeanor to explode fireworks while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The governor or the director of the Environmental Protection Division may issue a declaration to prohibit the use of fireworks for a specific duration.

The bill also extends the times which fireworks may be exploded on January 1, July 3, July 4, and December 31. Moreover, the bill allows for local noise ordinances to govern when fireworks are otherwise permitted to be exploded. HB 727 also allows for temporary fireworks stands for the benefit of non-profit 501(c)(3) corporations.

As the Regulations Sub-Committee chair of the Regulated Industries Committee, I was tasked to negotiate some needed changes to the original fireworks bill passed in 2015.  This puts more control back into the hands of local jurisdictions like cities and counties regarding the use, times, and noise restrictions on fireworks.  This simply cleaned up some oversights in the original bill.