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HomeGeneralFlorida Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Law Banning “Intentional” Release of Balloons

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Signs Law Banning “Intentional” Release of Balloons

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
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According to new reports, the governor of Florida has recently given his assent regarding a new bill. The bill was created by the state Legislature to prevent balloons from being released intentionally. 

According to reports, state lawmakers have drafted the bill as a means of reducing the amount of balloons ending up on state beaches. State Representative Linda Chaney had campaigned to ocean conservation groups and livestock farmers to support the bill. Chaney is a Republican representative who helped co-sponsored the bill. 

Cattle ranchers and ocean activists agree that animals may confuse errant balloons for food. Cattle and sea turtles have both had health issues as a result of consuming plastic that has blown into their surroundings.

According to Chaney, Florida’s greatest gift and asset are its beaches, waterways and aquatic wildlife. She added that the easiest way to safeguard this asset is by not releasing balloons, which harms the ecosystem. According to Chaney, Desantis, he had second thoughts before giving his assent to the bill.

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DeSantis was worried about the fact that the new bill would cause many Florida residents to increase their fine payments. DeSantis was also concerned that the bill could affect children and cause them to be fined if they breached it. 

Chaney had said in a press interview that DeSantis was checking the pros and cons of the bill. He had compared the environmental advantages of the legislation regarding the fine it would cost people.

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Consequently, for the bill to get his assent, it excludes children under the age of 6 from paying the fines in case they breach it. According to Emma Haydocy, the people who live on the property don’t want balloon residue on the property, so tourists should go to the beach or waterways. Haydocy is the media responsible for the Surfrider Foundation, an environmental advocacy group.

Official government balloon releases for meteorological or scientific objectives, balloons launched indoors, and hot air balloons retrieved after launch are all acceptable. A violation of the bill would not be regarded as a crime or come with criminal implications. 

According to the law, depending on the nature of the offense, the court may also order people who disobey the order to clean up litter or perform comparable labor.

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The bill’s journey began in November 2023 before arriving on DeSantis’ desk in March 2024, around the time when Oceana participated in an interview on ocean conservation. The group added that, although they should be happy that the lawmakers sent the measure to DeSantis, they still needed to keep addressing the issue of plastic pollution.

The bill was signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday, June 24, 2024. The bill is expected to begin implementation on July 1, 2024.

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