Michigan’s skies could be especially bright this coming July 4th, because legislation allowing consumers to buy certain, previously banned fireworks in Michigan is on its way to the governor to be signed.
Southwest Michigan retailers know that this isn’t about bringing these fireworks to our state. Many residents currently drive to Indiana or Ohio to purchase these types of fireworks, resulting in lost economic activity and revenue for our state.
House Bill 4293 will allow 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 reform also provides for an inspection and permitting process, requires liability insurance, and calls for the creation of a website listing every entity issued a consumer-grade firework certificate, to promote public safety and accountability.
A companion bill, Senate Bill 194, outlines criminal penalties for violators. Both proposals were supported by the Michigan Fire Service Coalition which consists of many firefighter groups, including the Michigan State Firemen’s Association.
I supported the bipartisan reforms because they will put Southwest Michigan small businesses on an even playing field with fireworks sellers across the border. That means more revenue for our schools and roads while responsibly balancing public safety and job creation.