At first glance, the idea of banning releasing balloons into the air seems pointless and stupid. Then after seeing it's being proposed by one of the ONLY legislators in New Jersey that actually made sense, I started to look at it a little differently. The proposal comes up just about every year around this time due to graduations and outdoor celebrations. This bill carries a $500 fine and is being put forth by State Senator Declan O'Scanlon (R-Monmouth Co.), who usually makes a lot of sense. If you think about it, this does too. You're not allowed to throw a deflated balloon on the ground and leave it there, so why are we allowed to litter on a delayed basis? We know it's going to end up on the ground or in the water somewhere.

So ok, I see the logic in it, even if it does seem like peeing on someone's parade. The really startling part of all of this is, after talking about it on the air on Tuesday, we got a call from a woman representing the NJ Balloon Council. Lorna O'Hara called in from the Balloon Council to fill us in on the work they're doing with the legislature to make sure the state doesn't hurt the balloon industry. Their motto is "don't legislate...educate". So they would prefer balloon users to be more responsible so that the tyrants in Trenton don't ban yet another thing that might bring joy to people's lives. They sent us some balloons with a card that read, "enjoy, weight, deflate" #BeBalloonSmart.

This perennial effort may not go anywhere, it never does, but the NJ Legislature just wants to remind us that they are in control and can take away anything fun that they want to, anytime they want to. And who would enforce this new law? The released balloons could cover several jurisdictions quickly, multiple municipal, county and state. Would we have a special task force like we do for drug enforcement, like maybe The Balloon Police? Would you have to show I.D. at Party Warehouse and sign a waiver pledging not to release them? The bottom line is, Trenton doesn't doesn't like anyone or anything that's full of more hot air than they are....sorry!

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