A coalition of more than 20,000 small businesses and unions representing a half-million Californians vowed to continue their opposition to legislation that would make it a criminal offense to sell a helium-filled foil balloon in California. The bill was reported from the Assembly Business and Professions Committee after several previous failed attempts at reporting the bill were made on Tuesday, June 24, 2008.

“For the 20,000 florists, card stores and party shops that sell balloons across the state, this bill would mean a likely loss of $100 million in balloon sales and the potential loss of $900 million in sales of flowers and other merchandise. And for the state, this bill would compound the budget shortfall by reducing sales tax revenues by an estimated $80 million dollars every year,” said Dan Flynn, chairman of the Balloon Council, a national organization of balloon manufacturers, distributors and retail shops

”There is no doubt that the florists, retailers grocers and the members of the Teamsters and the Food and Commercial Workers’ unions will have to redouble their efforts to defeat this bill,” said Pete McDonough, a spokesman for the Balloon Council and the “Save the Balloons” coalition.

“We are certain that when the Assembly Appropriations Committee comes to recognize the impact that this bill would have on jobs, revenues and, frankly on the California families who purchase 45 million of these balloons every year, they will reject this measure,” he said.

The “Save the Balloons” coalition includes grocers, florists, small businesses and retailers who have joined with the California Grocers Association, California Retailers Association, California State Floral Association, National Federation of Independent Business, Balloon Wholesalers, Inc., the Balloon Council, the Teamsters Public Affairs Council and the
United Food and Commercial Workers.

For more information and to help save the balloons, visit www.savetheballoons.com.

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