SPRINGFIELD — Fireworks enthusiasts want Illinois lawmakers to loosen some of the nation’s strictest laws by legalizing backyard ground-based sparklers called “fountains.”
The bill sponsored by Democratic Rep. Bob Rita of Blue Island is awaiting a House floor vote. Illinois prohibits most consumer fireworks such as firecrackers but allows novelties such as hand-held sparklers. Rita and supporters say Illinois is losing sales-tax revenue to neighbor states that allow them such as Indiana.
Opponents like the Illinois Firefighters Association say the potential for injury is far greater with a fountain than a hand-held sparkler because of the way fountains shoot sparks into the air.