Skubick: Moves to change fireworks law fizzling

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Michigan’s fireworks law is popular with consumers but many local officials and firefighters want to repeal it.

They have trying to do that for years without success.

The skies this holiday weekend will be filled with fireworks, much to the chagrin of those who oppose the law.

There are 13, count them 13, bills in the Michigan House to repeal or rewrite the law giving local governments more power to regulate fireworks and to date none have been adopted.

“You’re absolutely right,” said Rep. Henry Yanez, a former firefighter. “For whatever reason the leadership and committee chair have refused to hear the bills.”

Part of the reason may be that the state is making millions of dollars on the sale of these products.

And the Snyder administration has done nothing to change the law.

Even though Rep. Tom Cochran, a former Lansing fire chief, reports citizens are being injured each fourth of July.

“We’ve had several instances after the sale was legal of people injured. It’s a safety thing for me,” insists the Democratic state representative.

Yet prior to the Michigan law, residents here crossed over to Ohio and Indiana to buy the products there.

Rep. Yanez believes there is plenty of support in the legislature to do something. “I did a count last year and found at least 40 legislators who either favor repeal or are undecided.”

Which is why Rep. Yanez and those legislators will pressure the Republican Speaker to at least hold a hearing.

“We have significant support in the legislature and we’re going to try and force the hand of leadership,” said Rep. Yanez.

Meanwhile, what will likely happen this fourth of July weekend?

Rep. Yanez insists “there will be people locking themselves in their houses, and dogs will be barking and it’s a general nuisance for a lot of people.”

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