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Texas lawmaker wants kids to be able to run lemonade stands — legally. Here’s what he did

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Chalk one up for Texas kids.

On Tuesday, the Texas House took a key step toward finally making it legal for young Texans to run their own lemonade stands.

“Today is Lemonade Freedom Day,” said state Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, who authored the lemonade stand bill. “It’s to ensure anyone under the age of 18 is free from any kind of fine, fee or regulation when they want to start those first businesses.

“We want to continue to keep that (entrepreneurial) spirit alive.”

The House gave early approval to Krause’s bill, which lets younger Texans legally run stands selling lemonade or any nonalcoholic beverage.

A final vote, which is generally just a formality, is required before House Bill 234 heads across the Capitol to the Senate for consideration.

An amendment was added to the bill to allow lemonade stands on private property or in public parks. It also prevents property owner associations from adopting rules — or requiring permits or charging fees — to prevent children from running lemonade stands.

Texas lawmakers have until the end of their legislative session, May 27, to pass laws.

Legal or not?

In Texas, lemonade stands are illegal because of old food establishment rules.

These rules used to prevent Texans from legally holding bake sales, until lawmakers passed the Texas Cottage Food Law in 2013. That law covered homemade food, but not drinks.

As a result, lemonade stands are still outlawed in Texas.

It wasn’t a big deal until a few years ago, when Tyler police shut down a lemonade stand run by two elementary students who were trying to raise money to go to a water park.

When police learned they didn’t have a permit to run the stand, they closed it down.

Krause said he got the idea for the bill last year from Country Time Lemonade, which put together a team known as Legal-Ade to help pay for permits and fines for kids across the country who were fined for not having proper permits for their lemonade stands.

“We’re here to take a stand for lemonade stands across the country,” the website stated.

“It’s a great day for our Texas entrepreneurs,” Krause said Tuesday.

Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram

Anna M. Tinsley grew up in a journalism family and has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 2001. She has covered the Texas Legislature and politics for more than two decades and has won multiple awards for political reporting, most recently a third place from APME for deadline writing. She is a Baylor University graduate.


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