Florida Senate - 2024                                     SB 602
       By Senator DiCeglie
       18-00476B-24                                           2024602__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the release of balloons; amending
    3         s. 379.233, F.S.; revising a prohibition on the
    4         release of certain balloons to delete a specified
    5         timeframe and number of balloons; deleting an
    6         exemption from such prohibition for certain
    7         biodegradable or photodegradable balloons; providing
    8         that a person who violates the prohibition commits the
    9         noncriminal infraction of littering; revising the
   10         penalty for such violation; deleting a provision
   11         authorizing petitions to enjoin the release of
   12         balloons under certain circumstances; amending s.
   13         403.413, F.S.; revising the definitions of the terms
   14         “dump” and “litter”; reenacting s. 403.4135(1), F.S.,
   15         relating to litter receptacles, to incorporate the
   16         amendment made to s. 403.413, F.S., in a reference
   17         thereto; providing an effective date.
   19  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   21         Section 1. Subsections (2), (3), and (4) of section
   22  379.233, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   23         379.233 Release of balloons.—
   24         (2) It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to
   25  intentionally release, organize the release of, or intentionally
   26  cause to be released within a 24-hour period 10 or more balloons
   27  inflated with a gas that is lighter than air except for any of
   28  the following:
   29         (a) Balloons released by a person on behalf of a
   30  governmental agency or pursuant to a governmental contract for
   31  scientific or meteorological purposes.;
   32         (b) Hot air balloons that are recovered after launching.;
   33         (c) Balloons released indoors; or
   34         (d)Balloons that are either biodegradable or
   35  photodegradable, as determined by rule of the Fish and Wildlife
   36  Conservation Commission, and which are closed by a hand-tied
   37  knot in the stem of the balloon without string, ribbon, or other
   38  attachments. In the event that any balloons are released
   39  pursuant to the exemption established in this paragraph, the
   40  party responsible for the release shall make available to any
   41  law enforcement officer evidence of the biodegradability or
   42  photodegradability of said balloons in the form of a certificate
   43  executed by the manufacturer. Failure to provide said evidence
   44  shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this act.
   45         (3) Any person who violates subsection (2) commits is
   46  guilty of a noncriminal littering infraction, punishable as
   47  provided in s. 403.413(6)(a) by a fine of $250.
   48         (4)Any person may petition the circuit court to enjoin the
   49  release of 10 or more balloons if that person is a citizen of
   50  the county in which the balloons are to be released.
   51         Section 2. Paragraphs (d) and (f) of subsection (2) of
   52  section 403.413, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   53         403.413 Florida Litter Law.—
   54         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section:
   55         (d) “Dump” means to dump, throw, discard, place, deposit,
   56  drain, discharge, or dispose of, or intentionally release.
   57         (f) “Litter” means any personal property; garbage; rubbish;
   58  trash; refuse; can; bottle; box; container; paper; balloon;
   59  tobacco product; pharmaceutical of any kind; tire; household
   60  item; shed; appliance; mechanical equipment or part; building or
   61  construction material; tool; machinery; wood; motor vehicle or
   62  motor vehicle part, including a truck, trailer, or motor home;
   63  vessel; aircraft; farm machinery or equipment; sludge from a
   64  waste treatment facility, water supply treatment plant, or air
   65  pollution control facility; or substance in any form resulting
   66  from domestic, industrial, commercial, mining, agricultural, or
   67  governmental operations, but excluding permitted, regulated, or
   68  authorized drainage, pumping, or runoff of surface water or
   69  stormwater.
   70         Section 3. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
   71  made by this act to section 403.413, Florida Statutes, in a
   72  reference thereto, subsection (1) of section 403.4135, Florida
   73  Statutes, is reenacted to read:
   74         403.4135 Litter receptacles.—
   75         (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section “litter” and
   76  “vessel” have the same meanings as provided in s. 403.413.
   77         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2024.