Fireworks expansion bill lands on Dayton’s desk

Published 10:28 am Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ST. PAUL — It’s now up to Gov. Mark Dayton to decide if Minnesota holiday revelers can light up the sky with more powerful backyard fireworks.

The Minnesota Senate voted 48-17 on Tuesday to legalize aerial fireworks and devices with more bang than are permitted now. The bill expands on a 2002 law that let people set off lower-grade novelty fireworks.

Dayton told Minnesota Public Radio that he is “genuinely undecided” on the bill after hearing from fire chiefs and others raising safety concerns.

Supporters argued that people are buying the fireworks in neighboring states and setting them off illegally.

The bill sets a five-week window starting June 1 where the devices can be bought and used. It also would give cities power to enact some local restrictions.