- Associated Press - Thursday, February 4, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A bill that would ban small, flame-powered paper air balloons in Nebraska is headed to a final vote in the Legislature.

Senators gave the measure second-round approval Thursday with a voice vote.

The bill’s advocates say the so-called flying lanterns create dangerous fire hazards if they land in neighborhoods or dry fields. If the bill passes, violators would face a $100 fine.

The lanterns are made of flame-retardant paper and lifted by hot air from open flames at their bases. They’re often released into the sky at memorials or celebrations. Hot air balloons large enough to carry people would not be included in the ban.

Sen. Jerry Johnson of Wahoo has designated the bill his priority this session.

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The bill is LB136

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