Chicago, IL

New common-sense Illinois law goes into effect in January legalizing kids' lemonade stands

Jennifer Geer

Several years ago, officials in Kankakee, a small town near Chicago, stopped a child from selling lemonade because she didn't have a permit

Hayli Martenez was 11 years old the day officials shut down her lemonade stand where she had been selling cups of lemonade for 50 cents each. They cited a lack of water and sewer service to her home, although she had made the lemonade using bottled water bought from the store.

Hayli had started the lemonade business she named Haylibug Lemonade in 2017 to raise money for college. The Kankakee Daily Journal profiled Hayli, and her lemonade stand, in the summer of 2019. Shortly after this, officials paid a visit to Hayli and her mom and warned them to stop selling lemonade or face fines.

Hayli and her mom fought back, with Hayli going to Springfield to testify in support of SB 119. The measure was passed by both houses and signed by Gov. Pritzker in July 2021.

The law goes into effect on January 1, 2022.

According to Hayli's Law,

"Provides that, notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Department of Public Health, the health department of a unit of local government, or a public health district may not regulate the sale of lemonade or nonalcoholic drinks or mixed beverages by a person under the age of 16. Effective January 1, 2022."

State Sen. Patrick Joyce (D-Essex), who sponsored the bill in the General Assembly, tweeted the following in support of the new law,

"This #NationalLemonadeDay, I am celebrating Hayli's Law, which prevents children’s lemonade stands from being shut down for not having a permit. This new law will allow our young entrepreneurs to dream big without any hurdles."

According to NPR, Hayli's business is now thriving. She's upped her prices, charging a dollar for a glass of lemonade, two dollars for a large cup, and $15 per gallon. The money, she says, goes to her college fund.

And with the passing of this law, Illinois has made it just a little bit less tough for young entrepreneurs to get their first start.

“It’s a rite of passage for a kid,” Joyce said to NPR regarding lemonade stands. “If they’ve got the initiative to go out and put together something like a lemonade stand to raise a little bit money for themselves over the summer. … We shouldn't be discouraging that.“

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