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Should kids need a license for a lemonade stand? Lawmakers wrestle with proposal

A bill that would exempt children from having to apply for and receive a license in order to operate a lemonade stand advanced on Tuesday through the Senate Health Committee.

The bill, sponsored by Republican Sen. Jim Tedisco, was inspired by a Ballston Spa 7-year-old lemonade stand operator after he was told last year by a Department of Health official he needed a license for his stand near the Saratoga County fairgrounds.

The episode was seen as an example of regulatory overreach for a law that’s rarely enforced for pop-up lemonade stands. The permit costs $30, a fee Gov. Andrew Cuomo paid last year for the child, Brendan Mulvaney.

“There’s nothing that says America more than apple pie and kids running lemonade stands,” Tedisco said.

“‘Brendan’s Lemon-Aid Law for Children’ will keep child-run lemonade stands open for business in New York State without this regulation hanging over them. It’s 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. Kids 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.”

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