| Fireworks Bill Advances in Both Chambers, as Audubon Works to Limit Impacts|
|The fireworks bill making its way through the Florida House and Senate Committees has been improved by Audubon staff and the voices of our members, but not yet stopped.|
SB 140, sponsored by Senator Travis Hutson (R-Jacksonville), allows the legal purchase and use of personal explosive fireworks on designated holidays such as Independence Day, Memorial Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.
Thanks to the concerns expressed by many local governments, citizens groups, and Audubon over the expanded use of explosive fireworks, Senator Hutson introduced an amendment that protects local government control and clarifies that the proposed legislation will not supersede local regulation related to fireworks. The amendment was adopted and on Tuesday, SB 140 unanimously passed the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee
On Wednesday the House companion bill HB 0065 was passed in the Local, Federal, and Veterans Affairs Committee. The sponsor, Representative Ana Maria Rodriguez (R-Doral), introduced an amendment identical to the Senate version, protecting local government control. Representative Ana Eskamani (D-Orlando) reiterated the environmental and fire hazard concerns expressed in testimony provided by Audubon Florida.
Audubon Florida’s Director of Policy Beth Alvi testified in both committees to highlight the devastating impact unregulated personal explosive fireworks use can have on vulnerable species, conservation land, and fragile habitats.
Video of the House Subcommittee hearing: Click here.
Video of the Senate Subcommittee hearing: Click here.
Fox 35: Click here to learn more.
WMFE: Click here to learn more.