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Legislature Fails to Approve Law Governing Sparkling Devices

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Legislature Fails to Approve Law Governing Sparkling Devices

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Legislature, by a split vote of 6-7 (Legislator Carol Chock was excused) turned down a proposed new Local Law that would have allowed the sale of sparkling devices in restricted periods during the year. The Legislature through its action did not approve a local option to allow the devices to be excluded from the “Dangerous Fireworks” definition under New York State Penal Law.  Voting against the proposed law were Legislators Glenn Morey, Martha Robertson, Nate Shinagawa, Mike Sigler, Peter Stein, Will Burbank, and Dan Klein.

Emergency services officials, including Ithaca Fire Chief Tom Parsons and County Director of Emergency Response Lee Shurtleff, have expressed their concern about the safety of the devices, both from their use and to responders related to their storage.  Chief Parsons tonight again addressed the Legislature, urging opposition to the measure.  Prior to the vote, Legislators Stein, Robertson, and Burbank all spoke out against, referencing the potential safety concerns.  Legislator Jim Dennis pointed out that he found sparklers already available locally, and Chair Mike Lane, who voted in favor, said he is particularly concerned about confusion created by the county-by-county approach required by the State.