FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2016
CONTACT: Kelley Hays, Public Information Officer – (360) 786-7761
Hawkins and Gregerson introduce bipartisan bill to provide flexibility on fireworks rules
Rep. Brad Hawkins, R-East Wenatchee, has teamed up with Rep. Mia Gregerson, D-SeaTac, to introduce legislation that would remove the one-year waiting period for local governments to adopt fireworks ordinances.
Current state law requires that if counties and cities adopt rules that are more strict than the minimum state standards, they cannot go into effect until at least one year after local adoption. Hawkins says this requirement is too prescriptive to local governments and it’s time for change. He and Gregerson have introduced House Bill 2348.
“I value the principle of local control. Elected leaders in our cities and counties need more flexibility to implement fireworks ordinances. The state shouldn’t be in the business of dictating waiting periods to local governments on fireworks. It’s time for a change,” says Hawkins.
Gregerson, vice chair of the House Local Government Committee, said, “Local governments shouldn’t have to wait a year for a fireworks ordinance to go into effect. If there is a need to restrict fireworks because of safety issues or increased fire danger, communities should be able to implement these restrictions immediately.”
Following days of extreme heat and the devastating Sleepy Hollow Fire in Wenatchee last summer, local government officials found state law confusing regarding implementing fireworks ordinances and, as a result, did not fully understand how to take action at the local level.
“The bill is not taking a position on banning fireworks. It does, however, provide local governments with more flexibility to make that decision at the local level, if they believe it’s in their interest to do so,”continued Hawkins.
Hawkins and Gregerson have gathered nearly 30 bipartisan co-sponsors for the bill. Passage of House Bill 2348 would be an important step forward in advance of the next fire season. The bill is supported by statewide associations and advocacy groups, including the Association of Washington Cities.
For more information about Rep. Hawkins, visit: www.representativebradhawkins.com.
For more information about Rep. Gregerson, visit: http://housedemocrats.wa.gov/roster/rep-mia-gregerson/.
Rep. Hawkins’ media:
Washington State House Republican Communications
461 John L. O’Brien Building
P.O. Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600