Proposed ban of releasing balloons angers Balloon Council

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - A proposed ban on intentionally releasing helium-filled balloons into the skies of New Jersey has angered a powerful local balloon lobby.

The Trenton-based Balloon Council says they plan to meet with the bill's sponsor, Democratic state Sen. Jim Whelan, to persuade him to drop the measure.

North Jersey reports the lobbying group stopped a previous version of the bill three decades ago and spent over $1 million in the past five years lobbying against balloon regulations nationwide.

Whelan introduced the bill in May, and says he will meet with the group. The legislation proposes a $500 fine toward violations. Similar bans have been enacted in a handful of municipal communities along the Jersey Shore - where fish and wildlife could mistake popped balloons as food.

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