Texas Has Legalized Lemonade Stands
With the school year nearly over, lemonade stands are about to be back with a vengeance in cul de sacs all over the country. Most of the time, these displays of youthful entrepreneurship pass without incident, quaffing the thirst of soccer moms and creating cute photo ops for their parents. Sometimes, though, tyrannical pedants come and shut things down for lack of a permit.
Well, to that injustice, the State of Texas says “no more.” Perhaps seeking to distance himself from his involvement in an effort to purge almost 100,000 people from Texas’ voter rolls, Governor Greg Abbott signed Texas House Bill 234 this week, which effectively “decriminalizes” lemonade stands.
The text of the bill reads as follows: “Notwithstanding any other law, a municipality, county, or other local public health authority may not adopt or enforce an ordinance, order, or rule that prohibits or regulates, including by requiring a license, permit, or fee, the occasional sale of lemonade or other nonalcoholic beverages from a stand on private property by an individual younger than 18 years of age.”
Though it seems silly to codify this into law (mostly because it is), there’s some legal precedent in Texas that explains why it might be necessary. The bill was introduced by Fort Worth-area State Representative Matt Krause, who cited a 2015 incident where Overton, Texas, cops shut down an “illegal” lemonade stand because the young ladies in question hadn’t paid for a $150 “Peddler’s Permit.” In practical terms, it sounds like this legislation effectively waives that requirement for would-be lemonade sellers under the age of 18.