Friday, June 11, 2010

A Chance for Common Sense to Prevail on Fireworks in Michigan

 And its a common sense proposal from a Democrat no less.

Typically the Michigan Dems are the Mommy-knows-best-party and the "People shouldn't be allowed to own things that might do them harm or others if irresponsibly used" party but now for once, we get a refreshingly smart proposal from Michigan State Representative Harold Haugh:
The Detroit News - Fireworks bill makes sense for Michigan
The fireworks industry is growing every year, and in these tough economic times, Michigan needs to capitalize on this multi-million dollar industry. That's why I sponsored a plan to allow the sale of consumer-grade fireworks, including firecrackers, bottle rockets, aerial spinners and Roman candles, in Michigan. My legislation would legalize and regulate fireworks deemed acceptable for consumer use by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission since 1976.

My plan will modernize our laws, which simply don't stop residents from driving to nearby states to spend their hard-earned money on fireworks that are illegal in Michigan. These surrounding states are profiting when our state's economy needs help the most. A recent story that ran in an Indiana newspaper included a statement from one Indiana retailer that said, "75 percent of [his] business comes from Michigan and the other 25 percent from Illinois, which also has strict fireworks laws."

This law while bad for Indiana fireworks dealers is certainly great for Michigan residents and stops them from being criminalized for participating in an all-American pastime - making things go boom on appropriately festive days like the 4th of July.

Of course, Rep Haugh is a Democrat so there has to be a government tax increase somewhere in his proposal, but taxes must when the Democrats drive -
my plan will also:

• Create the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act and create stiff penalties for those who violate it;

• Limit the sale, possession and use to adults 18 and older;

Implement a 5 percent fireworks safety fee on the retail sale of all fireworks; and

• Create the Fireworks Safety Fund, which will use the money generated by new fees to help the Bureau of Fire Services in its enforcement of the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act.
In this case I can live with the 5% tax in return for the opportunity to legally do what my former neighbors have been "illegally" doing since time immemorial when they set off multiple nice, big, visually aesthetic and auditorily pleasing fireworks including Roman Candles and other decent skyward fireworks they purchase now in Ohio instead of the Michigan legal ground-bound mini and useless fireworks and sparklers of boredom.

If The Democrats follow Rep Haugh on the road to sanity in fireworks legislation, who knows to what other heights of reasonableness and economic sense they may climb?

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