Bennett Bill Would Protect Kids’ Lemonade Stands from Regulations, Licensing Fees

DOVER – Who knew kids could potentially get in trouble for having a lemonade stand? Lawmakers across the country – and right here in Delaware – want to change that.

Rep. Andria Bennett, D-Dover South, is working with a group of local students to cut bureaucratic red tape and make sure that lemonade stands are permit free. Currently, lemonade stands in Delaware could be subject to regulations, fees and permits. For Rep. Bennett, this is about protecting an essential element of summertime before a problem arises.

“Lemonade stands are a quintessential part of summer that teach children responsibility while having fun. But there’s the potential they could face problems with permitting, and we shouldn’t wait for Delaware kids to get in trouble to take action. Our proposed initiative is a common-sense, simple measure that will benefit children across our state and allow easy access to lemonade stands,” said Rep. Bennett.

“The best part of this legislation is the collaboration with the local students at W. Reily Brown Elementary. I really see this bill as opportunity to show students the power of government and how it can work to make real change in communities.”

The regulation of lemonade stands is an issue that is unfolding across the country. For example, one Texas town required a $150 peddler’s permit and a health department permit to operate a lemonade stand prior to the state’s law being enacted. So far, there are 16 states that allow minors to operate unlicensed lemonade stands, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Rep. Bennett’s House Bill 270 would exempt a stand operated by a child from state, county, and municipal regulations and licensing fees that might otherwise apply. It also would define a “stand operated by a child” as one that operates on a temporary, occasional basis, serves or sells lemonade or other nonalcoholic beverages to others, and is located on private property with the permission of the private property owner.

Students from W. Reily Brown Elementary’s Light House Team assisted in the drafting of the bill, bringing a variety of perspectives and ideas to the legislative process. This effort with Rep. Bennett teaches students about how government works and engages them throughout the process on a meaningful issue.

“I want to thank Representative Bennett for her foresight in introducing this bill but even more important was her involvement of the students of W. Reily Brown Elementary School’s leadership team in the legislative process,” said Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald, superintendent of Caesar Rodney School District.

“We sometimes forget that one of the key components in educating our children is teaching them to be good citizens. Representative Bennett has given our students a real-life experience which will have a positive impact on children across Delaware – which is the best legislation possible.”

HB 270 will be formally introduced in Thursday’s pre-file legislation.