Maryland legislature has found a new way to punish childhood fun. Children may now lose all their allowance money if they let their balloon animal from the fair release from their little grips. “The Democrat-controlled Maryland legislature has passed a bill to fine residents $100 for intentionally releasing balloons into the atmosphere” reports Just the News.
Maryland is “following several other states also attempting to reduce littering and non-biodegradable rash through penalties.” The measure was passed along party lines but now moves to the Republican Governor Larry Hogan for signature, who has not yet publicly stated whether he will sign it into law.
If a person releases a helium balloon, they will not only be fined but will be required to watch an informative video or perform community service. Naturally, Democratic representative Regina Boyce cited a single event from 1986 to support the measure.
In 1986, 1.5 million balloons were released by the United Way in Cleveland to attempt a Guinness World Record. “On the day of the release, there was a cold front that reportedly brought many of the helium-filled balloons back down all over the Ohio region caused numerous car accidents, littered streets and even stopped a Coast Guard search on Lake Erie for two fishermen who had gone missing the day before the balloon release” states Just the News.
What does The Balloon Council, a national balloon trade group think? While it supports an effort to prevent balloon releases, they argue balloon release bans are not the answer. In Virginia, a release of more than 50 balloons within one hour are subject to a fine of up to $5 per balloon. Looks like there’s going to be a big hiring trend for balloon police.
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