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Dayton vetoes fireworks expansion; Kriesel calls governor's explanation 'laughable'

Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed a bill by Rep. John Kriesel that would have legalized aerial fireworks in Minnesota, and the Cottage Grove lawmaker called the governor's explanation for rejecting it "laughable."

Dayton vetoed the bill Saturday night, saying it was "probably the toughest decision I have had to make."

In a letter to legislators, he said that while most Minnesotans are responsible, "some are not."

"It is the government's foremost responsibility to protect the safety and well-being of its citizens," Dayton wrote.

He added: "Sometimes, it requires laws to protect people from themselves."

The bill would have allowed more powerful fireworks, including those that shoot into the air.

In Dayton's veto, he applauded the bill authors, including Kriesel, for listening to concerns from others while writing the bill.

After the late veto, Kriesel, a Republican, said on Twitter that he added language to the bill that Democrat Dayton's office requested but the governor still vetoed it.

"The veto letter is laughable," Kriesel wrote on Twitter, later adding: "Minnesotans will continue the tradition of buying Class-C fireworks in Wisconsin and using them here. Life will go on."

-Scott Wente contributed to this story.