Children across Texas are celebrating a victory after lawmakers kept their promise to turn their lemons into lemonade during the 86th Legislative Session.
Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday signed House Bill 234 into law. Effective Sept. 1, it is now legal for children to run their own lemonade or other beverage stand without having to pay fees or obtaining permits.
“Here is a common sense law,” Abbott said. “It allows kids to sell lemonade at lemonade stands. We had to pass it because police shut down a lemonade stand here in Texas. So kids, cheers!”
According to the new law, a city, county or other local public health authority may not require a license, permit, or fee for the occasional sale of lemonade or other nonalcoholic beverages from a stand on private property or in a public park by an individual younger than 18 years of age.
HB 234 was jointly authored by four other state reps, and coauthored by 19 other state reps.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said he supports children who want to sell lemonade at a stand.
“To think that anyone would deny them that privilege, and that we have to come here and pass a bill, is unbelievable,” he said.
State Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, said he was inspired to file the bill after learning of a situation in Texas three years ago during which police near Tyler shut down a lemonade stand run by 7- and 8-year old sisters, because they did not have a permit.
The girls were hoping to raise funds so that they could take their dad to a water park for Father’s Day.
Adam Butler, Kraft Heinz’s general manager of beverages and nuts, said the incidents are an example of what inspired the company to help. Kraft Heinz owns Country Time, which recently announced they will offer reimbursement to parents whose children have been fined for their lemonade stand.
“When we saw these stories about lemonade stands being shut down for legal reasons, we thought it had to be an urban myth,” Butler said. “After looking into it and seeing even more instances, we realized these weren’t myths, they were real stories. A very real response seemed the best way to shine a light on the issue.”
The effort, called Legal-Ade, reimburses parents up to $300. Claims must be filed by Sept. 2.
If your child received a fine for operating a lemonade stand without a permit in 2018 or 2019, take a photo of the fine and a write brief description of what your child’s lemonade stand means to him or her, in his or her own words.
The image must be clear and legible and include name of applicant, date, cost of the fine, city and state. Then, visit countrytimelegalade.com and complete and submit the registration form including a valid home address.