Maggie Lee informs us a bill to legalize fireworks hits the floor today.
- ATLANTA — The great Georgia tradition of an annual drive to Alabama to load up on Independence Day fireworks may soon end if a state Senate move to legalize the explosives is successful in a Tuesday vote.
- Taxes on the fireworks would raise an estimated $5 million annually to be split between firefighter training and trauma care.
- The measure is carried in a pair of Senate documents in tandem: Senate Bill 229 describes what would be legal and how it would be regulated. Senate Resolution 378 contains the proposed constitutional amendment that voters would be asked to approve on their November 2014 ballots.
- If the statewide referendum passes, each Georgia city and county that wants to authorize sales of Roman candles, firecrackers and the like would then need to write local rules about where fireworks could be sold.
- Mullis’ latest draft, subject to change, would ban seasonal sparkler-selling tents that appear in shopping center parking lots ahead of every Fourth of July. It’s on the grounds that without sprinklers, they are not as safe as buildings, and it’s easier for such temporary operations to dodge taxes and licensing.