Senate launches fireworks

LANSING — Michigan consumers will be able to buy certain, previously banned fireworks under legislation approved by the state Senate on Wednesday, said Sen. John Proos, who voted for the measure.

“This isn’t about bringing these fireworks to Michigan. They’re already here. Many Michigan residents currently drive to Indiana or Ohio to purchase these types of fireworks, resulting in lost economic activity and revenue for our state,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “This bipartisan agreement will put Southwest Michigan retailers on an even playing field with fireworks sellers across the border. It also means more revenue for our schools and roads while responsibly balancing public safety and job creation.”

House Bill 4293 allows for the sale, transportation and use of consumer-grade fireworks under certain conditions. Retailers wanting to sell these fireworks, typically described as fireworks that shoot up into the air, will pay annual application fees of $1,000 to sell from a building and $600 to sell from a tent as well as a six percent fireworks safety fee on retail sales.

The legislation also provides for an inspection and permitting process, creates liability insurance requirements, and calls for the creation of a website that lists every entity that is issued a consumer-grade firework certificate, to promote public safety and accountability.

Senate Bill 194, as passed by the Senate last week, outlines criminal penalties for violators. Both proposals are supported by the Michigan Fire Service Coalition, which consists of the Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs, the Michigan State Firemen’s Association, Michigan Fire Service Instructors Association and the Michigan Professional Fire Fighters Union.

The bills have been sent to the House of Representatives for further consideration.