Hayli’s Law would protect lemonade stands from government in Illinois

Hayli’s Law would protect lemonade stands from government in Illinois

When a child’s lemonade stand was targeted by government regulators, the 11-year-old entrepreneur fought back. Now Illinois is about to bar government from interfering with a child’s right to sell cold summer drinks.

Illinois’ children may soon be safe to sell lemonade without fear of government overreach.

Hayli’s Law unanimously passed the Illinois House May 26 after passing the Illinois Senate in April. It will next be sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker to be signed into law to ensure children under 16 can run a lemonade stand without a permit or license.

In 2017, Hayli Martenez started her Haylibug Lemonade stand to raise money for her college fund with the help of her mom, Iva. In a violent neighborhood where people are reluctant to go out, Hayli brought together her Kankakee, Illinois, neighbors as she happily sold 50-cent cups of lemonade.

“It was kind of scary [at first] because we liked to stay in the house. We didn’t like to come outside because of all the stuff happening around here,” Hayli said previously. “As we kept doing it, I got to see everybody smile when they tasted my lemonade. It was just … wow. They were lining up to get my lemonade.”

Shortly after being profiled in the Kankakee Daily Journal, city and county health department officials paid the 11-year-old a visit and told her to shut down the stand or face fines. They cited the lack of water and sewer service to the Martenez’s home – the result of a billing dispute – even though bottled water for the lemonade was purchased at the grocery store.

Illinois is one of 16 states that do not require permits for lemonade stands, according to Country Time LemonadeSB 0119, filed by state Sen. Patrick Joyce, D-Essex, would ensure local government does not try to stop children from selling non-alcoholic mixed beverages on private property or in public parks.

Hayli’s case follows that of another 11-year-old girl in Madison County who was told she could no longer continue her $200-a-month cupcake business. That inspired the 2014 “Cupcake Law,” which allows home bakeries to operate without professional certification as long as the baker labels items and doesn’t make over $1,000 a month. However, counties must approve the law before it can go into effect. Only eight had enacted it by 2018, and it was recently enacted by River Forest and Bradley.

“A lot of little girls around here might not want to start a business,” Hayli had said. “But I know that they can. And they would actually love to.”

Illinois has a reputation for making business harder than it needs to be for entrepreneurs, even though small businesses create 69% of net jobs in the state. All kids deserve the chance to learn entrepreneurship from an early age, so Hayli’s Law is a good step towards making that happen.

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