Florida lawmakers send balloon release ban bill to governor

By Bruce Ritchie | 03/06/2024 01:02 PM EST

The bill to protect marine life from plastic pollution would make intentional releases of any balloons subject to a $150 fine.

TALLAHASSEE, Florida — The House on Tuesday passed and sent to the governor a bill that attempts to protect marine life by banning the intentional release of balloons.

The House voted 102-9 to pass the bill as amended by the Senate to exempt children 6 years of age or younger from possibly being fined for balloon releases under the state litter law.

Some House Black Democrats who voted against the bill echoed some Senate Democrats on Monday in raising concerns about people being fined for celebratory balloon releases, including during funerals.


“People in the Black community, that’s what we do as a cultural thing,” state Rep. Dianne “Ms. Dee” Hart, a Democrat from Tampa, said during House debate. “That’s why I’m so down on this bill.”