Fireworks Ban Rejected In Idaho Statehouse On Last Day To Intro Personal Bills

Feb 14, 2017

Monday was a busy day at the Statehouse. House and Senate committees heard bills on a wide range of topics, including a possible fix to the healthcare gap, changes to the state’s campaign finance law, a rule about police body cameras and a proposal to regulate the sale of illegal fireworks.

 

That last effort is a response to the Table Rock Fire, which officials say was sparked by aerial fireworks last year. After the blaze, Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan slammed current Idaho law which outlaws the use of airborne fireworks – but does not prohibit their sale. Minority Leader Mat Erpelding, D-Boise, took up the cause. He presented his proposal Monday.

“What this legislation does is it clarifies who can buy illegal fireworks from a wholesaler," Erpelding said during the committee meeting. "In doing so, it closes this exception so that a wholesaler checks the license and the buyer’s license for illegal fireworks.”

But Erpelding was not able to win over a majority of the committee, and the proposal died after a 9-6 vote. According to a spokesperson, he will consider introducing a different version of the bill. Under legislative rules, he could bring it back to House State Affairs with changes – since the panel is a privileged committee. The deadline for privileged committees to hear proposals is March 3.

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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