Florida Senate - 2024                       CS for CS for SB 602
       By the Committees on Fiscal Policy; and Environment and Natural
       Resources; and Senator DiCeglie
       594-03823-24                                           2024602c2
    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; providing applicability;
   11         deleting a provision authorizing petitions to enjoin
   12         the release of balloons under certain circumstances;
   13         amending s. 403.413, F.S.; revising the definitions of
   14         the terms “dump” and “litter”; exempting certain
   15         persons from litter law penalties relating to the
   16         release of balloons; reenacting s. 403.4135(1), F.S.,
   17         relating to litter receptacles, to incorporate the
   18         amendment made to s. 403.413, F.S., in a reference
   19         thereto; providing an effective date.
   21  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   23         Section 1. Subsections (2), (3), and (4) of section
   24  379.233, Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   25         379.233 Release of balloons.—
   26         (2) It is unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to
   27  intentionally release, organize the release of, or intentionally
   28  cause to be released within a 24-hour period 10 or more balloons
   29  inflated with a gas that is lighter than air except for any of
   30  the following:
   31         (a) Balloons released by a person on behalf of a
   32  governmental agency or pursuant to a governmental contract for
   33  scientific or meteorological purposes.;
   34         (b) Hot air balloons that are recovered after launching.;
   35         (c) Balloons released indoors; or
   36         (d)Balloons that are either biodegradable or
   37  photodegradable, as determined by rule of the Fish and Wildlife
   38  Conservation Commission, and which are closed by a hand-tied
   39  knot in the stem of the balloon without string, ribbon, or other
   40  attachments. In the event that any balloons are released
   41  pursuant to the exemption established in this paragraph, the
   42  party responsible for the release shall make available to any
   43  law enforcement officer evidence of the biodegradability or
   44  photodegradability of said balloons in the form of a certificate
   45  executed by the manufacturer. Failure to provide said evidence
   46  shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of this act.
   47         (3) Any person who violates subsection (2) commits is
   48  guilty of a noncriminal littering infraction, punishable as
   49  provided in s. 403.413(6)(a) by a fine of $250.
   50         (4) This section does not apply to a person 6 years of age
   51  or younger Any person may petition the circuit court to enjoin
   52  the release of 10 or more balloons if that person is a citizen
   53  of the county in which the balloons are to be released.
   54         Section 2. Paragraphs (d) and (f) of subsection (2) and
   55  paragraph (a) of subsection (6) of section 403.413, Florida
   56  Statutes, are amended to read:
   57         403.413 Florida Litter Law.—
   58         (2) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section:
   59         (d) “Dump” means to dump, throw, discard, place, deposit,
   60  drain, discharge, or dispose of. The term includes, with respect
   61  to balloons, to intentionally release, organize the release of,
   62  or intentionally cause to be released.
   63         (f) “Litter” means any personal property; garbage; rubbish;
   64  trash; refuse; can; bottle; box; container; paper; balloon;
   65  tobacco product; pharmaceutical of any kind; tire; household
   66  item; shed; appliance; mechanical equipment or part; building or
   67  construction material; tool; machinery; wood; motor vehicle or
   68  motor vehicle part, including a truck, trailer, or motor home;
   69  vessel; aircraft; farm machinery or equipment; sludge from a
   70  waste treatment facility, water supply treatment plant, or air
   71  pollution control facility; or substance in any form resulting
   72  from domestic, industrial, commercial, mining, agricultural, or
   73  governmental operations, but excluding permitted, regulated, or
   74  authorized drainage, pumping, or runoff of surface water or
   75  stormwater.
   76         (6) PENALTIES; ENFORCEMENT.—
   77         (a)1. Except as provided in subparagraphs subparagraph 2.
   78  and 3., any person who dumps litter in violation of subsection
   79  (4) in an amount not exceeding 15 pounds in weight or 27 cubic
   80  feet in volume and not for commercial purposes commits a
   81  noncriminal infraction, punishable by a civil penalty of $150,
   82  from which $50 shall be deposited into the Solid Waste
   83  Management Trust Fund to be used for the solid waste management
   84  grant program pursuant to s. 403.7095.
   85         2.a. If a person violates subparagraph 1. by intentionally
   86  dumping litter onto private property for the purpose of
   87  intimidating or threatening the owner, resident, or invitee of
   88  such property, the person commits a misdemeanor of the first
   89  degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
   90         b. If a person violates subparagraph 1. by intentionally
   91  dumping litter onto private property for the purpose of
   92  intimidating the owner, resident, or invitee of such property
   93  and such litter contains a credible threat, the person commits a
   94  felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s.
   95  775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. For purposes of this
   96  subparagraph, the term “credible threat” has the same meaning as
   97  in s. 784.048(1).
   98         c. If the penalty for a violation of this subparagraph is
   99  reclassified under s. 775.085, such a violation is considered a
  100  hate crime for purposes of the reporting requirements of s.
  101  877.19.
  102         3.A person who is 6 years of age or younger who
  103  intentionally releases, organizes the release of, or
  104  intentionally causes to be released balloons as prohibited by s.
  105  379.233 does not violate subsection (4) and is not subject to
  106  the penalties specified in subparagraph 1.
  108  In addition, the court may require a person who violates this
  109  subsection to pick up litter or perform other labor commensurate
  110  with the offense committed.
  111         Section 3. For the purpose of incorporating the amendment
  112  made by this act to section 403.413, Florida Statutes, in a
  113  reference thereto, subsection (1) of section 403.4135, Florida
  114  Statutes, is reenacted to read:
  115         403.4135 Litter receptacles.—
  116         (1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section “litter” and
  117  “vessel” have the same meanings as provided in s. 403.413.
  118         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2024.