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Turning Lemons Into Lemonade, Young Entrepreneur Helped To Change The Law

 Hayli Martenez testifying before an Illinois General Assembly committee
Craig Miller
Hayli Martenez testifying before an Illinois General Assembly committee

Gov. J.B. Pritzker recently signed what is now called Hayli’s Law, which prohibits local and state officials from regulating lemonade stands or any nonalcoholic beverages sales by anybody under the age of 16.

Hayli Martenez, now 13, was blocked by the Kankakee County Health Department from selling the drinks because of her family’s dispute over a water bill. The family’s water was shut off for a time, but state Sen. Patrick Joyce (D-Essex) said Hayli was using bottled water to make the lemonade.

“It’s a rite of passage for a kid,” said Joyce, who sponsored the measure in the General Assembly, which passed the bill unanimously. “If they’ve got the initiative to go out and put together something like a lemonade stand to raise a little bit money for themselves over the summer. … We shouldn't be discouraging that, “

Joyce said the law “let’s kids be kids, earn a few bucks” and learn entrepreneurship.

Hayli went to Springfield and testified in support of the measure. She said she was nervous doing so.

Prior to the testimony, she said, “Am I gonna mess up? Am I going to cry?” I had like mixed emotions. But then when I got up on the stand, I stayed there for at least two minutes. I was like, 'Okay, I got this.’

In the meantime, business has exploded for Hayli since word spread of the shutdown.

Hayli said since her stand was shut down, her price for a regular glass has doubled to a dollar -- two dollars for a larger cup. She charges 15 dollars for a gallon. She said the cash is going into to her college fund.

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