“As Chairperson of the Committee on Public Safety, I have been working diligently alongside many of my colleagues in the House and Senate to pass legislation to address the deleterious effects of fireworks in Hawai`i.
Three fireworks-related bills passed out of the Committee on Public Safety last legislative session that I actively supported; they were carried over to the 2010 session and are still alive. SB1060 SD1 HD2 is in conference and both HB397 HD1 and HB398 HD1 are in the House Judiciary Committee. This session, I will continue to work with my fellow legislators to move these measures through to final passage.
A conference draft for SB1060 SD1 HD2 would establish a task force to study the most effective ways to stop the importation of illegal fireworks into the state. I support this approach to the problem of importing fireworks into the State. We must determine how illegal fireworks are entering the State and then distributed in order to develop an effective program to stop the contraband from impacting the residents of Hawai`i.
HB397 HD1 assesses a surcharge tax on the sale of consumer fireworks, and it requires retailers to report on fireworks sold as well as requiring the Department of Health to report on the effects of fireworks on young children.
HB398 HD1 allows counties to enact ordinances or adopt rules regulating fireworks that are more restrictive than state law regulating fireworks under chapter 132D, Hawaii Revised Statutes.
I urge all who support banning or placing severe restrictions on fireworks in Hawaii to join me in asking the chair of the House Judiciary Committee to hear HB397 HD1 and HB398 HD1 as well as requesting the conference committee to pass a substantive conference draft of SB1060 SD1 HD2. The public needs to get involved and weigh in on this issue.”