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BALLOON RELATED LEGISLATION
Year-end Legislative and Regulatory Update

Massachusetts
Legislation that would ban the manufacture and sale of balloons that do not biodegrade within 60 days (House Bill 2948) is being sponsored by Representative DiMasi (D). This bill has been placed into "study", which means that it was not be released for a vote by the full House. However, the committee could use results of the study to justify future consideration of the bill. Once again the bill did not receive active consideration. It is likely that the sponsor will reintroduce the bill in the next session, as he has for the past several years. However, it is unlikely that there will be any movement, given the bill's history.

Once again, Representative Kujawski (D) is sponsoring legislation that would prohibit the release of 10 or more balloons. The bill (House Bill 1247) was introduced on December 6, 2000. No action has been taken on the Bill.

New Jersey
Senator Connors (R-9) and Senator Bark (R-8) introduced legislation that would authorize municipalities to prohibit the release of 5 or more balloons into the environment during a 24-hour period (Senate Bill 1122). This bill was referred to the Senate Environment Committee, but has not received committee consideration. The New Jersey Legislature meets continuously, and is now in the second year of a two-year legislative cycle.

Legislation that would require warning labels to be placed on helium balloons or balloon packages, as well as balloon display racks (Senate Bill 1121) was introduced by Senator Connors (R-9) and Senator Bassano (R-21). The required label would read: "Release of balloons into the atmosphere may cause serious harm to people and wildlife. Ingestion and entanglement may cause serious injury or death to wildlife."

This bill was referred to the Senate Environment Committee. TBC will continue to monitor its status and work to defeat this measure. The New Jersey Legislature meets continuously, and is now in the second year of a two-year legislative cycle.

New York
Legislation that would ban the release of 25 or more balloons and would apply to both latex and metallized balloons has been introduced in the Assembly and the Senate. Assembly Bill 299 was introduced on January 3, 2001 and referred to the Committee on Environmental Conservation.

LATEX ALLERGY RELATED LEGISLATION:

Pennsylvania
Senator Mellow (D-22) sponsored a measure, which urges the Governor to establish a committee to study the adverse effects of latex. Senate Resolution 43 passed both houses and was sent to the Governor on November 29, 2000.

Rhode Island
Legislation that would require elimination of the use of latex products in hospitals by June 30, 2002 has been reintroduced. Effectively, this legislation would ban all latex balloons from hospitals in Rhode Island. House Bill 7654 was introduced Representative Henseler (D-44). There was no activity on this bill before the end of the legislative session and it has not yet been reintroduced.

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