LANSING — Rattled Michiganders could get some relief from commercial grade fireworks during some state holidays under a bill passed by the state House of Representatives Thursday.
Under current law, commercial grade fireworks can be shot off on 30 days of the year, which surround national holidays. Under the new bill, that number is reduced to 12 days and communities could pass ordinances that limit fireworks to just those days.
And while the current fireworks law generally allows fireworks to be set off until 1 a.m., the new bill says that communities could pass ordinances that cut off fireworks after 11:30 p.m.
“We’ve been hearing from a lot of our communities that while there are a lot of folks who like to shoot off fireworks, there are a lot of folks who don’t like the fireworks,” said bill sponsor Rep. Jim Lilly, R-Park Township. “There are a lot of dogs out there who really don’t enjoy our fireworks law.
The Legislature has been trying for years to amend a 2012 law that allowed Michiganders to ignite commercial grade fireworks in neighborhoods. After the pyrotechnics went on for weeks, the Legislature acted in 2013 to pare back the number of days that fireworks could be lit to 30 days. But the complaints from people and their pets have never abated.
Dozens of bills have been introduced in the last five years trying to restrict fireworks even further, but nothing substantive has passed.
The main bill in the current package — HB 5939 — passed on a 92-17 vote.
Lilly said a lot of people would like to see the fireworks law repealed altogether: “We’ve seen a lot of other bills introduced and they’ve gone nowhere.”
The bill, which would go into effect before the 2019 fireworks season, now goes to the Senate for consideration.
The time and days that communities could not prohibit fireworks would be:
- From midnight to 1 a.m. on Jan. 1
- The Saturday immediately preceding Memorial Day until 11:30 p.m.
- The Friday and Saturday immediately preceding July 4 until 11:30 p.m.
- June 30 until 11:30 p.m. if July 4 is a Saturday or Sunday
- July 1 to July 4 until 11:30 p.m.
- The Saturday immediately preceding Labor Day until 11:30 p.m.
Contact Kathleen Gray: 313-223-4430, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @michpoligal