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NY state considers legalizing lemonade stands run by children

The move follows the controversial shutdown of a 7-year-old's lemonade stand last year

Image source: WLNY-TV video screenshot

With blatant disregard to the apparent scourge of underage beverage sellers, a New York state senator is introducing a bill to legalize lemonade stands run by children in the state.

Here's what we know

In August, the New York Department of Health shut down a lemonade stand belonging to 7-year-old Brendan Mulvaney. The Department of health had told WLNY-TV that vendors at the Saratoga County Fair had complained about Mulvaney's rogue lemonade stand, which apparently was "too structured" and "much greater than the average little kid's spontaneous lemonade stand."

The outcry against the state health department's crackdown on Mulvaney's malfeasance was so great that Gov. Andrew Cuomo stepped in and directed the department to allow him to operate freely. According to the Albany Times Union, after getting the go-ahead from the governor, Mulvaney reopened his stand and quickly raised $900 for a 12-year-old family friend who had to have surgery.

But state Sen. Jim Tedisco, a Republican, said that the governor's intervention doesn't go far enough.

"There's nothing that says America more than apple pie and kids running lemonade stands," Tedisco said in a statement published on Tuesday. His 'Brendan's Lemon-Aid Law for Children' "bill would exempt children 16 and younger who operate pop-up lemonade stands under adult supervision from having to obtain and pay for any state permits."

This bill is also sponsored by New York Assembly member Kimberly Jean Pierre, a Democrat.

Tedisco said that it was a "sad commentary on the current state of New York State's government that this legislation is needed to protect the entrepreneurial dreams of children selling lemonade."

He added, "[k]ids like Brendan Mulvaney are trying to give people sweet lemonade and learn some important business skills but the overzealous state bureaucrats just keep giving taxpayers lemons."

Haven't we heard this story before?

Mulvaney wasn't the first youngster to run afoul of the law for illegal distribution of overpriced lemonade. In May 2018, police in Colorado shut down a lemonade operation run by three young brothers. In April, the state passed a bill to allow children to operate lemonade stands.

Another young entrepreneur, 10-year-old Morgen Morris, was shut down by the Marion County Health Department in Indiana in 2013 for her failure to have a permit to sell beverages.

One last thing…
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