New legislation allows Illinois kids to run lemonade stands without permits

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill into law that ensures children younger than 16 can operate a lemonade stand without a government permit.

Published: July 17, 2021 7:34am

Updated: July 18, 2021 11:39pm

(The Center Square) -

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill into law that ensures children younger than 16 can operate a lemonade stand without a government permit or license.

Senate Bill 119, or Hayli’s Law, was filed by state Sen. Patrick Joyce after 11-year-old Hayli Martenez of Kankakee had her lemonade stand shut down by the local health department due to lack of running water.

Hayli Martenez started “Haylibug Lemonade” back in 2017 to raise money for her college fund. Her stand was a hit with her community in Kankakee and neighbors would buy up all of her 50 cents a cup.

In a short time, county health department officials visited the 11-year-old and told her to shut down the stand or face fines because the house she lived in did not have running water.

Joyce, D-Essex, said the new law will make it easier for kids to learn about business.

“Opening a lemonade stand can teach kids about entrepreneurship and responsibility, so it’s really a great opportunity for them to learn while making some extra money,” Joyce said in a statement. “This new law will allow our young entrepreneurs to dream big without any hurdles.”

Ann Miller, of the Illinois Policy Institute, said that while kids do not need to have a permit to sell lemonade on the street, they can still be shut down for other reasons.

“Only 16 states in America do not require permits for lemonade stands and Illinois is one of those states,” Miller said. “But still health officials were still able to say, you do not have running water and you need to shut down or face a fine.”

The new legislation gets rid of the ability for health officials to shut down lemonade stands for those reasons. The law is intended to promote entrepreneurship skills among the youth in the state.

“Entrepreneurship teaches a lot of important life skills, and these children are the future of our state,” Miller said. “These are going to be the kids running businesses and employing people in the state and the state needs that for job and revenue growth.”

Iva Martenez, the mother of Hayli Martenez, was pleased the bill was signed into law.

“Who would have thought you would need a lemonade law?" she said. "At first, it was a nightmare, but it turned into a dream come true."

Hayli’s Law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

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