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Proposed lemonade stand bill would protect kids from local governments

Photo by Lauren Mancke on Unsplash

It’s been hard times for children operating lemonade stands, with the fear that any day some government bureaucrat or health agency might shut them down, sending them underground to sell their lemony juice.

Those days may be over as the result of a proposed House bill, which would give protections to children operating lemonade stands on private property. Introduced by Rep. Luanne Van Werven, R-Lynden, it would prevent any agency from trying to force the kid entrepreneurs into getting a license or permit.

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“A city or town may not adopt or enforce an ordinance, order, resolution, or rule that prohibits or regulates, including by requiring a license, permit, or fee, the occasional sale of lemonade or other nonalcoholic beverages from a stand on private property by any person under the age of eighteen years,” the bill states.

Not that these kids can do whatever they want. The little tycoons are free to sling lemonade as long as their stand doesn’t operate for 30 days or more a year, and don’t sell spiked versions of the drink (which would probably make them the most popular lemonade stand in the neighborhood). Issues such as backwards letters and misspellings wouldn’t be addressed.

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What compelled the creation of such a bill? An angry parent.

Rep. Van Werven told the Spokesman-Review of a constituent in Bellingham who contacted her after an “overzealous bureaucrat” approached his daughter selling lemonade and told her she needed a permit. The girl didn’t like dealing with government officials any more than adults too, and packed up shop that day out of exasperation.

It will be determined in the next coming weeks if the bill moved forward to the floor, not that there are any kids operating lemonade stands at the moment.

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