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HB 373: LOCAL GOV’T FIREWORKS RESTRICTIONS

An Act Relating To Public Safety; Changing The Standards For Local Government Fireworks Restrictions; Authorizing The Forestry Division Of The Energy, Minerals And Natural Resources Department To Restrict The Sale Of Fireworks When High, Very High Or Extreme Fire Danger Exists; Declaring An Emergency

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MOD HB 373
LOCAL GOV’T FIREWORKS RESTRICTIONS

Legislative URL:
HB 373 on nmlegis.gov
Emergency Clause:
Yes
Germane:
N/A
Location:
- OTHER -
Action:
[12] HENRC/HJC-HENRC [30] DNP-CS/DP-HJC [36] DP/a [39] fl/a- fl/sub adptd- w/drn h/calendar- ref HLC-HLC API. [12] HENRC/HJC-HENRC [30] DNP-CS/DP-HJC [36] DP/a [39] fl/a- fl/sub adptd- w/drn h/calendar- ref HLC-HLC
Issue(s):

Related Legislators

Bill Sponsor:

Related Documents

Downloads:
Introduced
HENRC Committee Report
HENRC Committee Substitute
HJC Committee Report
House Floor Amendment 1
House Floor Substitute
Fiscal Impact Report
Summary

This piece of legislation changes the standards by which local governments can restrict the use of fireworks and authorizes the Forestry Division (FD) of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department to restrict the sale of fireworks when “high,” “very high” or “extreme” fire danger exists by replacing the current section of the law regarding restrictions.

Under this measure, the FD may declare that a “high,” “very high” or “extreme” fire danger exists within specific geographic areas of the state based on the national fire danger rating system and may, by emergency rules, ban some types of fireworks and limit where others may be used. The bill also addresses the ability of municipalities and counties to impose fire restrictions, as does current law, and synchronizes that system with the FD system. If the FD’s rules cover a municipality or a county, the FD’s rules may be more restrictive than, but not less restrictive than, the restrictions of the municipality or county.

This bill appears to be positive step for the State in terms of managing wildlife danger.

Update: On February 21, 2013, HENRC adopted a Committee Substitute that differs from the original bill as follows:

  • uses the broad “aerial devices” rather than the list of specific types of fireworks (thus incorporating the content of House Bill 464);
  • allows counties and municipalities to use public service announcements to warn the public of extreme fire danger;
  • makes changes to the Sections regarding the FD’s authority to adopt emergency rules, one of which requires that a local government request the FD to adopt emergency rules in order for the FD to do so; and,
  • requires that vendors of fireworks provide customers with written information related to firework safety and wildfire prevention that is approved by the State Fire Marshal.

 

The House Floor Substitute adopted on March 7, 2013 makes only one change to current law. It uses the broad “aerial devices” rather than the list of specific types of fireworks, thus turning this bill into a duplicate of House Bill 464. A concern with this substitute may be that it might not go far enough to help prevent wildfires.

Outcome: HB 373 died in the House Labor Committee.

Date of Summary:  2/9/13; Updated 2/22/13; Updated 3/8/2013; Updated 5/21/13