Minnesotans get as giddy as anybody over the soar, roar, and bang of big-time fireworks. Yet Roman candles, bottle rockets, and other personal-use aerial pyrotechnics actually can’t legally be purchased in Minnesota.
In our state, tax revenues from fireworks sales go pfft, like firecrackers failing to ignite. Sales-tax dollars go instead to our neighbors in Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota and Iowa. Imagine all the good the revenue could do here with Minnesotans buying fireworks in abundance anyway able to do so without crossing a border.
“Everyone already enjoys them,” Sen. Jason Rarick, R-Pine City, said in a statement after the state Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Committee on Wednesday heard his bill to finally legalize the sales of aerial and audible fireworks.
“My bill would simply ensure that revenue and jobs continue [to] stay within our state to benefit our citizens,” Rarick said.
A bill similar to Rarick’s was vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton in 2012, among past legislative attempts to legalize the rockets’ red glare.
Perhaps this can help change minds in 2020: Regulations, warnings and education about the safe use of fireworks can accommodate their legalization. With fireworks outside of the law, recklessness and unsafe practices currently prevail and persist.
Minnesotans are going to keep using and enjoying fireworks. Letting us buy them legally here can improve their safe use. And Minnesota’s tax coffers can benefit, as well.
Anything less from lawmakers this session would go pfft.
FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE DULUTH NEWS TRIBUNE