State Sen. Travis Hutson, R-St. Augustine, sponsored a bill making fireworks legal — on specified holidays — and in 2020 it passed.
Floridians buying fireworks have long been legally required to signed an affidavit stating their roman candles, sparklers and spinners will be used for agricultural and fishery purposes, to frighten birds.
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday signed a new law giving backyard pyrotechnicians another way. Fireworks are now legal on the Fourth of July, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.
State Sen. Travis Hutson, R-St. Augustine, was one of the bill’s sponsors. Floridians will likely still have to sign an affidavit when making purchases at fireworks dealers.
“Every year, around the Fourth of July, on blogs and Facebook and in the media, people are complaining these are illegal,” Hutson said.
Rather than making fireworks legal at all times, Hutson favored “the most narrowly defined bill” he could conjure: Allowing fireworks on holidays traditionally associated with them.
Some of the other bills DeSantis signed into law include:
⚫ TAX TWEAKS: Establishes two sales-tax holidays, one for disaster preparedness from May 29-June 4 and another for back-to-school shopping, from Aug. 7-9 for certain clothing, school supplies and personal computers.
⚫ KIDCARE: Removes a lifetime maximum cap on covered expenses for a child enrolled in the Florida Healthy Kids program.
⚫ CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS: Makes it more difficult for groups to place constitutional amendment questions on ballots by raising the threshold for petition signatures at which the Secretary of State must transmit initiative petitions to the attorney general for review. Hutson also sponsored this bill and said he was concerned that too many petitions were getting into the process only to later be ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court. Raising the threshold also makes it less likely groups from extreme sides of the political spectrum will be able to bring a question to voters, he said. The bill passed the Senate on a partisan vote, 23-17. “We took input from both sides of the aisle,” Hutson said. “Although it may not be bipartisan legislation, it certainly is a bipartisan work product.”
This story originally published to news-journalonline.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the USA TODAY Network - Florida.