Central Il lawmaker wants to legalize consumer fireworks

Jul 7, 2014

Your 4th of July may have been punctuated by some fireworks set off in your neighborhood by residents who brought them in from a neighboring state.

It's illegal to sell most consumer fireworks in most parts of Illinois, but as IPR's Jim Meadows reports, a central Illinois lawmaker says it’s time to change that.

State Senator Chapin Rose says he saw a lot of fireworks for sale on recent trips to Kentucky, Wisconsin and Tennessee, and saw a lot of Illinoisans crossing the state line to buy them.

The Mahomet Republican says Illinois’ ban on most consumer fireworks sales is bad for the state’s economy.

“We’re driving people across state lines. And guess what? It’s not just for fireworks. Because while they’re there, they’re going to buy a tank of gas. Oops, more sales tax for Indiana. They’re going to buy a dinner. Oops, more sales tax for Indiana. So why don’t we start by bringing some of those dollars back to Illinois?"

Rose says he’s working on a bill for the spring session with House Deputy Majority Leader Frank Mautino that would legalize consumer fireworks.

The sales tax revenue they produce would be channeled to rural service agencies, such as ambulance and fire districts and the University of Illinois Extension.