Amendment 4 asks this question:
“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the proceeds of excise taxes on the sale of fireworks or consumer fireworks be dedicated to the funding of trauma care, firefighter equipping and training, and local public safety purposes?”
( ) YES
( ) NO
This amendment is necessary because the tax proceeds are directed to particular areas in Senate Bill 350:
▪ 55 percent to the Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission.
▪ 40 percent to the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council.
▪ 5 percent to local governments for public safety purposes.
House Bill 727, which went into effect in April, cleared up a number of things about the use of consumer fireworks in Georgia. In the original legislation, fireworks were allowed “On any day between beginning at the hours time of 10 a.m. and 12 midnight.” On January 1, July 3, July 4 and December 31 fireworks could be used until 2 a.m. That was just too much for many Georgians to swallow.
Local council representatives and commissioners heard earfuls and those messages went straight to local state delegations. The changes in HB 727 restrict the use of fireworks to between the hours of 9 p.m. and 11:59 p.m and extends the time to 1 a.m. on Jan. 1, a cut of one hour over the previous time. While we still have serious concerns over fireworks in general, the state has a lousy way of tracking injuries from fireworks, that’s water under the bridge at this point.