Prohibit Church Bans on Christmas Trees
Today, I circulated a bill, along with
Robin Vos and
Senator Steve Nass,
to prohibit local fire authorities from banning natural Christmas trees from
churches and the State Capitol.
Click here to read the co-sponsorship memo and bill text. My press
release on the bill is below and can be seen
on my website here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For Further Information Contact:
State Representative Jesse Kremer
Vos and Nass Circulate Bill to End Christmas Tree Bans in Churches
Representative Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum), Assembly Speaker Robin Vos
(R-Rochester) and Senator Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) released
a bill to prohibit bans of Christmas trees in churches. The proposal
follows warnings from several municipal fire departments indicating that the
future display of natural cut Christmas trees in churches would be
"As both a
firefighter and fire inspector, I do my best to maintain a safe, hazard-free
environment in the Village of Kewaskum,”
Kremer. “However, there are fire officials in some of our communities who
are doing their taxpayers a disservice. They are blatantly relieving
themselves of any authorized discretion when it comes to allowing the safe
display of natural cut Christmas trees in church sanctuaries during the
Christmas season. This bill would ensure that this long-standing tradition
can safely continue.”
In 2008, Wisconsin adopted the
National Fire Protection Association’s fire code, NFPA 1, which
prohibits combustible vegetation such as a Christmas tree in places of
assembly, except as allowed by the AHJ, or “authority having jurisdiction.”
Under the current code, a fire chief may allow a tree if adequate
safeguards, such as suitable water supply, safe lighting and proper distance
from heat sources, are observed. Despite this authority, however, local fire
chiefs have begun to impose de facto bans on natural cut Christmas trees in
places of worship.
thing we need is for bureaucrats to play the Grinch in every church in
Wisconsin at Christmas,"
said Rep. Vos. "This common sense legislation keeps the Christmas spirit
alive and well without affecting safety."
The bill does not prohibit an AHJ from directing that a tree be removed due
to a violation of safety practices outlined in NFPA 1 upon receipt of a
complaint or completion of an inspection.
It has been my honor to serve as your state Representative this year. While
it is hard to believe the year is nearly over, it's time to reflect on the
many blessings enjoyed throughout 2015, and look forward with hope into the
From my family to yours, have a Merry Christmas and a blessed and happy New