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The Balloon Council vs. State of California

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California to Metal Balloons: "You're Fiscally Evil" | Photo by Iain Farrell via Flickr

Those cute and innocent helium-metallic balloons we give to kids may soon be outlawed by California legislators. Yes, that's right, the great State of California is outlawing fun. Apparently, if you want the f-word, go to Wisconsin or something.

But seriously, Sen. Jack Scott, D-Altadena, proposed to ban metallic balloons filled with helium because when they get loose, they can hit power lines, causing electric wires to arc. The Pasadena Star News reports that in turn, the damage causes outages, thus millions of dollars going to resources to remedy the problem. The balloons can still be sold, just not with a gas that would make it float high enough to hit electricity wires.

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California law already states that balloons sold must have a weight to hold them down, but once in the hands of wee little ones, they can easily float away, especially if the weight is an added value toy or piece of candy.

The opposition goes to the Balloon Council's lobbyists (wait, a lobbyist for balloons?!) who say California would be the first state to have such a ban. And if the ban passes like it did in a Senate Public Safety Committee, it will go into effect in 2010.