Girl Scouts' Balloon Bill Raises Environmental Awareness but Angers the GOP

Brownies' project provokes GOP leader attack

Ahwatukee Foothill News
By Paul Maryniak, April 24, 2019

LD 18 representative Mitzi Epstein, pictured on the right, worked with an Ahwatukee Girl Scout Troop this legislative session to draft a bill (HB 2664) that would curb the harmful release of balloons outdoors. Republican LD 12 representative Warren Peterson, pictured on the left, released a press release celebrating the demise of this "radical" bill.

The bill, which was a learning experience in the legislative process for an enthusiastic group of 8 and 9 year olds, was drafted by Epstein this session to raise awareness  and generate discussion about the harmful environmental impact of releasing balloons outdoors. Not only are balloons dangerous to wildlife, but according to SRP, released balloons are responsible for sparking approximately 80 fires and power outages per year in their area. The bill would have instituted a $500 fine on the outdoor release of 4 or more balloons and would have required warning labels on packaging. Five other states have 'radical' bills regarding the environmental impact of balloons. Despite Peterson's remarks, Epstein looks forward to brining the issue back to the table in 2020.

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