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The Great Balloon Debate!

The Pride Parade is coming up in San Francisco this weekend, but that's not the big controversy facing the great state of California at the moment. That title belongs to State Senate Bill 1499: Foil balloon ban. The bill, passed by the State Senate on May 29, will ban those metallic Mylar balloons by 2010 (now extended to 2011), charging a $100 to retailers for the first two offenses, and a misdemeanor for the third.

The argument is that they cause power outages when they float into power lines, although the numbers you get for just how many differ depending on who you're listening to. The pro-balloon lobby (didn't expect to say that when I woke up this morning) has a Save the Balloons website, where they claim there have been no confirmed power outages, but utility lobbies say there were hundreds of outages just last year.

The latest news is that the bill failed to clear the State Assembly Business and Professions Committee on June 24, but then a new vote was made, and it has now cleared the committee as of yesterday, June 26, and it'll go before the full Assembly at some point.

Actual quote from the article about the initial failure to clear the Assembly, by a balloon-supporting private citizen who attended the committee hearing:

"To be against them is anti-American."

Comments (2)

i'm only commenting 'cuz toasty fwd'd his blog post to me and not doing so might be considered "anti-american!"

I'm going to write my assembly person and state senator. Those balloons are one of the few things that brings my developmentally disabled loved one joy.

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LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

LEAVE THIS FIELD BLANK. IT IS HERE TO TRAP ROBOTS.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 27, 2008.

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