116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
DES MOINES — Cities will have fewer options to regulate where fireworks can be sold under legislation signed into law Thursday by Gov. Kim Reynolds, who approved more than two dozen measures.
Under the new law, cities including Cedar Rapids and Iowa City will no longer be able to restrict fireworks sales to only certain zoning categories, like industrial, a regulation the cities made in response to citizen complaints and a rise in injuries.
Republicans who called for the new measure said it stops cities from attempting to, in effect, ban fireworks sales.
“What this bill does is provide a check to cities that are trying to use spot zoning as an attempt to do an end-run around the state law,” Iowa Sen. Mike Klimesh, a Republican from Spillville and former small-town mayor, said during debate on the bill earlier this month.
Cities said the law will make it more difficult to prevent fireworks from being sold in potentially dangerous locations.
“It doesn’t make any sense to put dangerous explosives on the Main Street of every Iowa downtown,” Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, said during debate. “This is the ‘burn down every Main Street amendment.’”
The proposal, Senate File 2285, passed the Senate, 31-17, and the House, 56-37, both with only Republicans supporting and all Democrats opposing.
Other new laws
Among the other bills Reynolds signed into law:
• House File 2481 makes changes to the judicial nominating process. The new law boosts the number of recommended candidates for appellate court openings from three to five, has the governor select lower-level judges instead of District Court judges making that selection, and allow judges in contiguous counties to be eligible for a judicial opening, provided they move into the new district if selected.
• Senate File 2296 states police can search garbage that is placed outside an Iowa resident’s home. A 2021 Iowa Supreme Court ruling established that Iowans have a right to privacy for garbage they place outside their homes, along a street. Senate File 2296 attempts to reverse that.
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