Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Morelle, D-Irondequoit, Monroe County, said he’s hopeful that Gov. Andrew Cuomo would give quick approval to allowing some small fireworks to be legal in time for Fourth of July.
The Legislature for the third time passed a measure that would allow sparklers and other small fireworks to be legal outside New York City from June 1 through July 5 and then again from Dec. 26 through Jan. 2 of each year.
Counties and cities would have the right to opt out of the program — a move that aims to appease Cuomo, who vetoed the last two version of the bill.
Morelle said he worked with Cuomo’s office to get a bill that appears to be amenable to the Democratic governor. It was sponsored by Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette, Seneca County.
“We worked it out with his counsel and his staff,” Morelle said today. “I’m hopefully that he’ll sign it. I would love to have him sign it by the fourth of July.”
The bill could be signed in time, but Cuomo’s office hasn’t indicated if or when he would.
“This is a matter of trusting our citizens to be responsible for their own actions and for the safety of others,” Morelle said in a subsequent statement. “We should not prohibit a popular activity simply because of the possibility of reckless behavior, and this is especially the case with respect to these low-risk sparkling devices.”
Morelle said it would be an economic driver, and the bill includes tougher penalties for illegal sales.
Also, the state Office of Fire Prevention and Control will “oversee the licensing of manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and retailers who participate in the sale of sparklers and sparkling devices.”