Nebraska lawmakers to debate proposed ban on flying lanterns

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - State senators will debate whether to outlaw small flame-powered paper air balloons in Nebraska.

A legislative committee voted 7-0 on Monday to advance a bill that would ban the sale, possession and use of paper lanterns.

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.

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

Hot air balloons large enough to carry people would be not included in the ban.

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