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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: February 13, 2013 02:45 PM
From: Senator Michael L. Waugh
To: All Senate members
Subject: Public Safety Fee on Fireworks
I am reintroducing legislation that amends Act 65 of 1939, known as the Fireworks Law. This was Senate Bill 915 of the 2011-12 session of the General Assembly.

Under this legislation, a 25 percent fee will be assessed on the sale of “consumer fireworks” sold at facilities licensed by the Department of Agriculture. (Note that this fee would not apply to sparklers and other novelties sold in tents and other retailers such as Walmart).

This fee will be known as the Pyrotechnics Public Safety Fee, and 75 percent of the proceeds will be deposited into an account for municipal emergency services training and equipment grant programs. The county fire technical school where the licensed seller of the fireworks is located will receive 15 percent of the fee proceeds, with the remaining 10 percent sent to the local fire companies in that area. This 10 percent will be split evenly among all of the local fire companies.

Pennsylvania residents are effectively prohibited from purchasing “consumer fireworks” in Pennsylvania without obtaining a special permit from their municipality. However, these consumer fireworks can freely be sold to out-of-state residents. Accordingly, these fireworks facilities are generally located near the borders of the state along major highways. Though Commonwealth citizens of the host municipality cannot patronize and benefit from their operations, the risk of these high-hazard facilities is borne by their local fire and emergency medical services departments. The Pyrotechnics Public Safety Fee would provide needed assistance to these jurisdictions.

Co-sponsors of Senate Bill 915 were Senators Alloway, Baker, Browne, Costa, Erickson, Fontana, Stack, Pileggi and Yaw.

If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Greg Beckenbaugh in my office at 787-3817 or gbeckenbaugh@pasen.gov .

Introduced as SB642