Legislation to allow Orange County cities to opt out of sale of sparkling devices headed to governor


ALBANY – A bill that would give the Orange County cities of Middletown, Port Jervis and Newburgh the ability to opt-out of selling “sparkling devices” has been approved by the state Senate and Assembly and is headed to the governor’s desk for his action.
The state last year approved the use of sparking devices subject to county approval. With Western Orange County bordering Pennsylvania where more fireworks devices are legal, residents are driving to the commonwealth to purchase sparkling devices legal in Orange County and illegal fireworks in the county.
Last year that resulted in a firestorm of quality of life complaints to several local police departments, in particular in the City of Middletown. That prompted Legislator Jeffrey Berkman, at the request of Mayor Joseph DeStefano, to seek the option for cities to opt out of the sales.
DeStefano called the option to opt-out of the sale of fireworks a “reasonable approach that will help ensure residents are not subjected to unwanted fireworks.”
Senator John Bonacic (R, Mt. Hope), who sponsored the measure in the Senate called that proposed provision “a common sense measure that will help alleviate the issues that occurred last year related to fireworks.
Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D, Forestburgh) sponsored the measure in her house.