Kids can now sell lemonade without fear of persecution as Texas Gov. signs bill legalizing children's lemonade stands
While setting a lemonade stand on the sidewalk during a hot summer's day might seem like an innocent enough thing to do, it was still technically illegal and could lead to prosecution because of the violation of several laws.
And while it still illegal is in many areas, children in the state of Texas can heave a sigh of relief, with Governor Greg Abbott signing a law on Monday, June 10, that will prohibit police from shutting down the stands. In a video posted on his official Twitter page, Abbott announced that he had signed what he called a "common-sense law" that would allow kids to sell lemonade at stands they had set up.
He celebrated the move with a tall glass of lemonade, signing off with, "So kids, cheers!" According to CNN, the bill Abbott signed was House Bill 243, which was introduced by state Rep. Matt Krause, a Fort Worth Republican, which will legalize the occasional sale of lemonade and other nonalcoholic drink stands run by minors on private property.
On introducing it to the floor, Krause told a committee that the bill was inspired by a 2015 case where Texas sisters, eight-year-old Andria and seven-year-old Zoey Green, had set up a stand to raise $100 to take their dad to Splash Kingdom as a Father's Day gift but saw it shut down just an hour later by law enforcement.
Police reportedly closed down the stand because the pair did not have a 'Peddler's Permit' that can be obtained with a $150 fee. While the city of Overton had agreed to waive the fee, it emerged that the sisters also needed approval from the health department because of a state law that prohibits the sale of any items that could spoil without proper temperature control.
The incident caused quite an uproar, with the young girls' mother calling it "ridiculous". The police defended themselves by claiming they had to follow state health guidelines and that lemonade stands required permits.
Their experience is by no means an isolated one. In 2011, a group of kids who set up a lemonade stand outside the Congressional Country Club in Montgomery County, Maryland, were fined $500 for not having a vendor's permit. In 2018, police in a Denver suburb shut down a young boy's stand after he could not produce a permit following a complaint from one of his neighbors.
With the passing and signing of HB 243, such a sticky situation will be a thing of the past, at least in Texas. However, children will still have to wait till September 1 for it come into effect. The Green sisters are reportedly planning to celebrate the move, with their mother announcing on her Facebook page that the pair are planning to set up a large lemonade stand in September.