In the third week of the 2020 regular session, the House Insurance Committee is expected to consider an increase in fireworks fees, while broader legislation was removed from the Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee agenda
For the second year, Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, has introduced legislation that would allow statewide, year-round sales of consumer fireworks and novelties, such as ground or hand-held sparklers and party poppers. The full Senate approved his legislation in 2019, but it never received House consideration.
The Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee had been scheduled to consider SB147 at its Wednesday, Feb. 19, meeting, but it was later removed from the agenda.
This year, Rep. Chip Brown, R-Mobile, has proposed House companion legislation, HB112, which has been assigned to the House Economic Development and Tourism Committee, but has not yet been scheduled for consideration.
The bills use the federal definition of consumer fireworks: small devices designed to produce audible effects, ground devices containing 50 milligrams or less of flash powder and aerial devices containing 130 milligrams (2 grains) or less of flash powder.
“We are not talking about something that would make a big boom,” Melson testified last year.
The bills would generate $23,000 in additional revenue for enforcement, based on their fiscal notes. The bills allow the State Fire Marshal to increase fees every five years up to 2% based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers.
The House Insurance Committee next week will consider legislation that would increase various fees for fireworks vendors and users.
HB69 by Rep. Kerry Rich, R-Albertville, would increase the fee for retailers selling fireworks from $200 to $300. The bill also allows the State Fire Marshal to increase fees every five years up to 2% based on the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers. Rich’s bill would generate up to $53,000 annually, according to the bill’s fiscal note.
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