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House of Representatives
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: April 1, 2021 08:45 AM
From: Representative Steven R. Malagari
To: All House members
Subject: Protecting livestock, wildlife, and power lines from non-biodegradable balloons
Balloons have long been used as party decorations or released en masse during one celebration or another. They may look nice in the moment, but what happens to those balloons that float away? Unfortunately, they eventually land somewhere else. When they do, they litter the habitats of animals that may mistake them for food and eat them or get entangled in the strings attached to them. When this happens, it can mean a slow and painful death for these animals as the balloons leave them immobile, block their digestive tracts, or strangle them. In addition to the damage of animals’ habitats, these balloons also cause destruction to our electrical infrastructure and farming equipment. These are costly and unnecessary damages, and we need to address it.
To help protect innocent animals from such a fate and our electrical infrastructure, I will be introducing legislation that would ban the intentional release of more than 10 balloons into the atmosphere within any one-hour period. Anyone found in violation would be subject to a maximum fine of five dollars per balloon released. The legislation would exempt hot air balloons that are recovered after launch, as well as balloon releases authorized by the Commonwealth or United States government for scientific or meteorological purposes.
Please join me in this effort to protect our wildlife and infrastructure.