In fireworks-wary Illinois, ‘fountain’ sparklers are debated

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – 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.

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