Balloon ban bill angers local 'Balloon Council'

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Watch the report from Action News at 4:30 p.m. on June 15, 2017. (WPVI)

There's a big battle brewing over balloons in New Jersey.

On one side, an Atlantic County state senator who wants to ban balloon releases.

On the other, a Trenton-based lobbying group called the Balloon Council.

Democratic Senator Jim Whelan sponsored a bill to ban the intentional release of helium-filled balloons, often used in vigils.

Senator Whelan and his supporters say they pose a deadly threat to birds and other animals who choke on or are strangled by balloon pieces and strings.

They also say balloons cause power outages when they hit lines.

But the Balloon Council is now pushing Whelan to drop the measure, saying a ban would undercut mom and pop businesses and create a negative narrative about balloons.

The bill would impose a $500 fine on violations.
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