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AB-2709 Crimes: balloons.(2015-2016)

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AB2709:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 14, 2016
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 28, 2016

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2015–2016 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 2709


Introduced by Assembly Member Quirk
(Coauthor: Assembly Member McCarty)

February 19, 2016


An act to amend, repeal, and add Section 653.1 of the Penal Code, relating to crimes.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2709, as amended, Quirk. Crimes: balloons.
Existing law makes it a crime to sell or distribute any balloon constructed of electrically conductive material and filled with a gas lighter than air without affixing an object of sufficient weight to the balloon or its appurtenance to counter the lift capability of the balloon, affixing a statement warning the consumer about the risk if the balloon comes in contact with power lines, and a printed identification of the manufacturer of the balloon. Existing law further prohibits selling or distributing 2 or more balloons that are constructed of electrically conductive material and filled with a gas lighter than air and attached to each other. Existing law additionally prohibits any person or group from releasing, outdoors, balloons made of electrically conductive material and filled with a gas lighter than air as part of a public or civic event, promotional activity, or product advertisement. Existing law makes a first and 2nd violation of these provisions punishable by a fine not to exceed $100, and a 3rd or subsequent violation punishable as a misdemeanor.
This bill would, on January 1, 2018, remove these prohibitions and instead make it a crime to sell or distribute any balloon constructed of electrically conductive material or any balloon that is attached to an electrically conductive material. The bill would make a first violation of this provision punishable by a fine not to exceed $250, and a 2nd or further violation punishable as a misdemeanor. The bill would additionally, on January 1, 2018, make it a crime to release, outdoors, balloons made of electrically conductive material, regardless of whether the outdoor release is part of a public or civic event, promotional activity, or product advertisement, and would make the crime punishable by a fine not to exceed $250. The bill would exempt specified balloons from these provisions, including balloons that are not designed to be buoyant in ambient air when filled with any gas.
Because the bill would revise the definition of a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for makiid="s1">

SECTION 1.

 Section 653.1 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

653.1.
 (a) A person shall not sell or distribute any balloon that is constructed of electrically conductive material, and filled with a gas lighter than air without:
(1) Affixing an object of sufficient weight to the balloon or its appurtenance to counter the lift capability of the balloon.
(2) Affixing a statement on the balloon, or ensuring that a statement is so affixed, that warns the consumer about the risk if the balloon comes in contact with electrical power lines.
(3) A printed identification of the manufacturer of the balloon.
(b) A person shall not sell or distribute any balloon filled with a gas lighter than air that is attached to an electrically conductive string, tether, streamer, or other electrically conductive appurtenance.
(c) A person shall not sell or distribute any balloon that is constructed of electrically conductive material and filled with a gas lighter than air and that is attached to another balloon constructed of electrically conductive material and filled with a gas lighter than air.
(d) A person or group shall not release, outdoors, balloons made of electrically conductive material and filled with a gas lighter than air, air as part of a public or civic event, promotional activity, or product advertisement.
(e) Any person who violates subdivision (a), (b), (c), or (d) is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100). Any person who violates subdivision (a), (b), (c), or (d) who has been previously convicted twice of violating subdivision (a), (b), (c), or (d) is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(f) This section shall not apply to manned hot air balloons, or to balloons used in governmental or scientific research projects.
(g) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2018, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2018, deletes or extends that date.

SEC. 2.

 Section 653.1 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

653.1.
 (a) A person shall not sell or distribute any balloon that is constructed of electrically conductive material or any balloon that is attached to an electrically conductive string, tether, streamer, or other electrically conductive material.
(b) A person or group shall not release, outdoors, balloons made of electrically conductive material.
(c) Any person who violates subdivision (a) is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine not exceeding two hundred fifty dollars ($250). Any person who violates subdivision (a) who has been previously convicted of violating subdivision (a) shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(d) Any person who violates subdivision (b) is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fiml>