Lawmakers in Sacramento discuss fate of Mylar balloons statewide

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KGO) --

A rally was held in Sacramento Tuesday to promote balloon safety.

Assemblyman Bill Quirk from Hayward has introduced a bill to ban the release of Mylar balloons in California.

Mylar balloons caught on power lines caused nearly 1,900 outages in California in 2015.

Last year, they sparked wildfires that cost the state more than $3 million to put out.

Assemblyman Quirk tried to ban their sales last year to no avail.

His new bill wants to make it illegal for anyone to release them anywhere not just at civic events, as the law now states.

"It's litter. If it goes into the ocean fish and other wildlife can eat it," said Quirk.

If you choose Mylar balloons for your celebration, lawmakers want you to consider these safety tips:

Keep balloons tethered at all times and attached to a weight. Puncture and deflate balloons before disposing of them. If a balloon is tangled in power lines, call your utility company right away. Do not try to retrieve it yourself.

The bill has just passed the assembly it's now in the Senate.

If it becomes law, you could get a ticket up to $100 for releasing a Mylar balloon.