BY STEVEN GORDON, LEMONADE DAY NATIONAL PRESIDENT
I am thrilled to report the unanimous passage of Texas House Bill 234 over Memorial Day weekend on Sunday, May 26, one day before the 140-day 86th Legislative Session wrapped up. Texas HB 234 was dubbed the “Save Our Lemonade Stands Bill.”
Texas House Representative Matt Krause, the parent of five young children, introduced the bill which was co-sponsored by Senator Jane Nelson. This bill amends the Local Government Code, Chapter 250, and the Property Code, Chapter 202. These amendments prohibit local jurisdictions in Texas from regulating the sale of lemonade or other non-alcoholic beverages by children in certain locations. The amendments also will prohibit property owners’ associations from adopting or enforcing certain restrictive covenants that would impede these sales. To read the full text of the bill click here.
I am also thrilled that Texas will join Utah and Colorado in allowing young entrepreneurs to operate a temporary business without a license or fees after Governor Greg Abbott signs HB 234 in the coming weeks. The bill will go into effect Sept. 1, 2019.
Momentum leading to the filing of HB 234 by Representative Krause began to build when he learned of two young sisters in north Texas business whose lemonade stand was shut down by law enforcement officials because they did not secure a permit in advance. Andria Green, 8, and Zoey Green, 7, had wanted to raise about $100 to buy their dad a Father’s Day gift so they set up a lemonade stand.
I suspect all Lemonade Day leaders, mentors, and sponsors throughout Texas are as jubilant and as energized as I am about the passage of HB 234. The positive implications are huge for kids in Texas who want to engage in the powerful entrepreneurial lessons that hosting lemonade stands can deliver. Research by the venerable Gallup polling organization proves that kids in our Lemonade Day youth entrepreneurship program are more likely to start businesses as adults.
I am honored to have testified in support of the bill during the 86th Texas Legislative Session along with our Lemonade Day entrepreneurs Branson Burton, Mikaila Ulmer, and Sidharth Srinivasin, who live and attend school in Austin. I am honored to have worked with Representative. Krause, Senator Nelson, other legislators, and their staff members who believe that kids should have the opportunity to start and run businesses without government restrictions or fees. I am very much looking forward to witnessing Governor Abbott sign this bill into law.
Branson, who is extremely poised and eloquent at the tender age of 8, became the talk of Austin and garnered extensive media attention because of his testimony. Branson captivated legislators as he spoke before the House committee in March and then again before the Senate committee in early May. Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., was so impressed by Branson’s testimony that after the committee unanimously voted to approve the bill, he presented the gavel to Branson.
“I felt special being invited to give testimony and having lots of support near me. It was fun that the senators were videotaping me,” Branson told our Lemonade Day team members. “Receiving the engraved gavel means so much to me. It feels like a reward for my commitment and contribution. I was excited to help Lemonade Day and the legislators to help change the law so that Texas kids could set up lemonade stands at any time. I’m very proud to have been an important part of this bill.”
Both Representative Krause and Nelson leveraged social media platforms in recent days to express their excitement.
It took 139 days, but our ‘Lemonade Freedom” bill is finally heading to the Governor! I know some will say ‘who cares’ about this type of legislation, but I disagree,” Krause tweeted on May 26.
Nelson tweeted: “I am proud to sponsor HB 234, which passed unanimously, exempting lemonade stands from burdensome regulations. Young people should have the opportunity to try their hand at entrepreneurship without government interference!
Lemonade Day supporters will participate in Governor Abbott’s Bill Signing Ceremony. As a fan and follower of Lemonade Day, you will be among the first to know when the details are locked in. If your schedule allows, I invite you to join us in their historical event!
Our Lemonade Day national team is keeping a watchful eye on regulations governing lemonade stands in other states like New York and New Jersey We will keep you posted.
As always, I welcome your comments, questions and ideas. Please email me any time at Steven@LemonadeDay.org.
About Lemonade Day
Since 2007, the Lemonade Day program has been teaching leadership and business skills by encouraging children to launch a lemonade business in their community. The organization inspires young people with a desire to learn business skills and financial literacy to set up their lemonade stand where they can apply customer service skills, collaborate with business owners and investors, and experience real world business owner challenges.
Lemonade Day has expanded to 80 licensed markets in the United States, Canada, and six U.S. military bases. More than one million children and thousands of adult mentors have participated in Lemonade Day since 2007. Adults can register a child to participate in Lemonade Day and give them a taste of the sweet success that comes with owning their own business. For more information, visit lemonadeday.org