The balloon industry has reached an agreement with Senator Scott (bill
author) and his staff on SB 1499, and it does NOT include a ban on
helium-filled foil balloons. The bill was amended 7/15/2008. SB 1499
had a hearing today in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, where it
went to the "suspense file". The suspense file is a routine method by
which the committee prioritizes bills. This bill still has to pass
Appropriations, the full assembly, go back to the senate and then be
signed by the governor to become law.
Both sides agree that consumer education is going to be a very
important piece to making the revised California Balloon Law effective.
The compromise worked out will increase public awareness about the
appropriate use and disposal of foil balloons without criminalizing
their sale or otherwise harming the California residents who bought 45
million of these balloons last year or the tens of thousands of small
local businesses that sold them. In keeping with the spirit of this
bill, we, as an industry, will be working to further increase public
awareness of appropriate use of foil balloons. This is a meaningful
compromise that will serve the public well.
The amendments to the current bill include:
- Increase the size of the warning on the balloon so all manufacturers are consistent.
- Fund a study to research a new material to possibly be used in place of foil in the future.
- Educate retailers on the California Balloon Law.
- Include information on the California Balloon Law in every shipment to customers in California.
- Inform consumers of the California Balloon Law via store posters or other means.
- Toys and edibles will not be considered weights; therefore, you must attach a weight in addition to any toys and edibles.
- The fine for not following any of these rules is increasing from $100 to $250.
You can see the actual text of the SB 1499 here
We ask that you discontinue any outreach to the Appropriations
Committee until otherwise notified. Please continue to check your
e-mail and look for updates regarding SB 1499, and please follow up
with the actions requested. Thank you again for your support on this
critical effort. We did it!
Lorinda & Lorna Ferrell, CBA
2924 18th Ave, Sacramento, CA 95820 800-350-4386
Wholesale to the professional balloon artist.
Balloon Industry Information
- It is estimated that between 45-50 million balloons are sold in California each year.
- Many of the retail business involved in the balloon business are minority and women-owned.
of retailers and businesses through out California sell balloons
including major grocery chains, florists, drug chains, Hallmark stores,
gift shops, card shops, hospital gift shops, party stores, mom &
pop shops, theme parks, event artists, etc.
cheer thousands of people everyday through out California for
birthdays, get well, congratulations, good luck, sentiments, new
babies, thank yous, just because, wedding wishes, welcomes, goodbyes,
are used at sporting events, political conventions, weddings, fairs,
concerts, grand openings, sale events, car lot sales, conventions,
trade shows, baby showers, wedding showers, birthday parties, bachelor
and bachelorette parties, fund raisers, company parties, open houses,
celebrations and many other special events.
- Balloons are used for eye-catching and appealing advertising campaigns and promotions.
are the perfect inexpensive, bright and fun gift for friends, teachers,
bosses, secretaries, co-workers, children, neighbors, girl friends, boy
friends or anyone.
- Balloons are part of our culture.
SB 1499 - Economic Impact on California
1. Banning balloons will have harmful consequences to the economic vitality of business in California.
Fiscal Impact throughout your District and California:
jobs are dependent on balloon sales and will probably be lost as a
result of a ban on balloons. Can CA afford to have more unemployed?
and indirect sales from balloons is estimated to be nearly $900 million
- $1 billion per year. That is a potential of lost sales tax revenue of
$70 - $80 Million dollars annually. Can CA afford to lose any sales tax
of businesses will suffer significant loss of sales and business if
they could not sell metallic balloons and many will be forced out of
business. Can CA afford to shut down any more businesses?
businesses that are closely linked to the balloon industry would suffer
great losses in sales including balloon manufacturers, licensors i.e.
Disney, Warner Brothers, etc. weight manufacturers, ribbon
manufacturers, helium suppliers and helium equipment manufacturers.
Hundreds of millions of dollars of indirect sales will be lost to
businesses who serve businesses in the balloon industry i.e. insurance
companies, banks, employment agencies, office supply companies,
equipment companies, print and mail houses, advertising agencies, and
many more. Can any industry in CA afford to lose any business?
There is no foundation for this bill. The facts are misstated and the
claims are exaggerating the impact of escaped metallic balloons.
utility companies must report power disruptions that result in $20,000
or more in damages or injuries to the CA Public Utilities Commission.
Nearly 6000 reports were made in 2007. None were attributed to balloons.
Scott states that power disruptions attributed to balloons cost over
$120 million dollars last year. If that is true that means there had to
be over 6000 outages that were under $20,000. But, the number of
outages Senator Scott refers to is between 200 to 600 per year. The
numbers do not add up!
are safe products! If there were 600 power outages in CA last year due
to balloons compared to 45 million balloons sold, that means .0013% of
balloons caused power outages.
is under scrutiny because of their low reliability issues. At this
point it makes sense to PG&E to improve their reliability by even
1%. They are hoping that banning balloons will help raise their
3. The Current California Balloon Law Works! There is no need for a law to dissolve an industry.
- There is no need to ban balloons since the current law has proven to be extremely effective.
- The current balloon law was enacted in 1990. Penal Code 653.1
- Due to the education efforts of the balloon industry, no other states have enacted similar laws.
electrical corporations were required report to the CPUC every month,
from 1/1/91 until 6/30/93. The CPUC reported the CA Balloon Law was
very effective and drastically reduced power outages due to balloons.
It indicated that metallic balloons represented less than 0.2% of the
total outages in CA.
- Parties and special events would have less impact without metallic message balloons.
- Theme parks would no longer sell bright shiny licensed character balloons.
- Hospital patients would no longer receive balloons to cheer them up and wish them well.
- Mothers would no longer be able to treat their child at the grocery store with a bright shiny balloon.
- Children would miss out on the magic of balloons.
- The utility companies will have to find another industry to pick on.