When it comes to genius use of your tax dollars it doesn't get better than this. Lawmakers are getting paid to solve New Jersey's problems, right? Well there's still nothing happening about runaway property taxes but that pesky balloon situation is finally being addressed.

Yes, if you've been losing sleep at night worrying about a small child at an outdoor birthday party potentially releasing a balloon to float up to the sky, you can finally get some rest. You've probably been in a panic for years over this, knowing that there's a slight chance this helium filled balloon might make it over water, deflate, then land in said water. Once that happens, you probably were gravely concerned that a sea creature might just come along and ingest said balloon. Or, and it gives one the shivers to think of this nightmare scenario, what if said balloon had a ribbon tied to it and said ribbon gets wrapped around said sea creature and causes some sort of damage?

No more of this my friend. The New Jersey legislature has a bill which would allow municipalities to establish ordinances banning the intentional release of balloons outdoors. They will allow the towns to fine you up to $500 for doing this unspeakable act. I don't know about you, but if I found out I lived next door to somebody who would even think of releasing a balloon outside I'd probably put my house up for sale. Because if they are capable of that, they'd be capable of anything.

If you don't believe this is all for real, I'm including the following statement that summarizes the bill:

This bill would permit municipalities, by ordinance, to ban any person, organization, firm, or corporation from intentionally releasing, organizing the release, or intentionally causing the release, of balloons that are inflated with helium, or other gas that is lighter than air, within the municipality, and to impose a penalty, not to exceed $500, for the violation of that ban. The ban would not affect the release of a balloon on behalf of a government agency or pursuant to a government contract for scientific or meteorological purposes; a hot air balloon that is recovered after launching; or balloons that are released indoors.

The release of balloons into the air is a hazard to marine life because when the balloons deflate and land in the ocean, sea creatures ingest them, which can be disruptive to their digestive systems and cause them to starve to death. Marine life also can get tangled up in the ribbons that are attached to balloons, which can cause them physical damage.
Several states, such as California, Florida, and Connecticut, have enacted bans on the release of balloons, and in New Jersey, the municipalities of Margate, Longport, Atlantic City, and Ventnor have adopted ordinances to prohibit the release of balloons into the atmosphere. This bill would affirm the authority of these municipalities, and others, to enact such prohibitions.

Want to read even more? Here's a copy of the entire bill itself, S3288. God bless you Senators Van Drew and Cruz-Perez for sticking up for what really matters in Jersey!

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