We need your help to defeat most of these anti-fireworks bills to be heard on Monday in the Texas House County Affairs Committee!  Any calls need to be made TOMORROW Friday the 17th, 2009!

http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/81R/schedules/html/C2102009042014001.htm

WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Call or Fax the representatives on the committee.  Ask your friends, operators and co-workers to call and fax as well.  Do not fax multiple copies of the same letter repeatedly.  One personal letter is equivalent to a hundred photocopies.

Suggested message: These Anti-Fireworks bills are designed solely to run the small businesspeople and fundraising non-profits and families out of business.  You’re against these anti-fireworks bills but support HB 4625 (Lucio) and HB 499 (Hughes).

(4625 covers how counties may deal with drought.  More detail below on this one.  499 allows fireworks sales for Texas Independence Day.)

You can also attend and register to speak.  Or, just register against the bills.  Groups, operators, employees — all welcome.  The county will have a ton of (salaried) people paid to be there.  We need to be out in force!

WHOM TO CONTACT:
Representative Garnet Coleman (Chair)
(512) 463-0524
(512) 463-1260 Fax

Representative Geanie Morrison (Vice-Chair)
(512) 463-0456
(512) 476-3933 Fax

Representative Leo Berman
(512) 463-0584
(512) 463-3217 Fax

Representative Valinda Bolton
(512) 463-0652
(512) 463-0565 Fax

Representative Joaquin Castro
(512) 463-0669
(512) 463-5074 Fax

Representative John E. Davis
(512) 463-0734
(512) 479-6955 Fax

Representative Marisa Marquez
(512) 463-0638
(512) 463-8908 Fax

Representative Ralph Sheffield
(512)463-0630
(512)322-9054 Fax

Representative Wayne Smith
(512) 463-0733
(512) 463-1323 Fax

ABOUT HB 4625 (Lucio):
The originally posted version of this bill has been changed to be more in line with the fireworks industry wishes. A committee substitute is expected to be introduced at the meeting on Monday.  We don’t see the final version until it’s back from legislative counsel.

This bill does a bunch of things but highlights:
* Deletes 418.108i (the disaster provision that’s closing us now).
* Increases the KBDI number for a flying firework ban (stick rockets, missilies and helicopter items) to 630.  (We the removal of pop rockets from the market, we can raise this number.)  They can only ban the sale of stick rockets and flying items above 630 KBDI — nothing else.
* Allows the county to restrict fireworks use in times of drought (>630) to barren areas with no “fuel” for fire.  Right now, someone can be shooting a roman candle into a field of dry grass and the county can’t write them a ticket.
* The bill requires a County Commissioner Court meeting take place in order to place a restriction on the sale and use of fireworks.  Current law does not require a meeting and the sole decision on whether or not to shut down an industry is left to the discretion of the County Judge.  They have to do any actions 30 days prior to our opening and their restrictions can last for 60 days or until the KBDI is down below 630.

Thanks for your help!

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