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Children's lemonade stands protected under House-approved legislation

Blake Johnson leans on a lectern on the House floor, looking at a lawmaker speaking to him. Johnson is a White man with brown hair, wearing a suit and tie.
Brandon Smith
/
IPB News
Rep. Blake Johnson (D-Indianapolis) said the lessons children learn by operating lemonade stands can give them a "zest" for business.

Indiana lawmakers are making sure local governments and homeowner associations can’t stop children from operating lemonade stands.

The House unanimously approved legislation Monday its author calls the “feel good bill” of the 2024 session.

Technically, Indiana law doesn’t allow a child to operate a lemonade stand without a permit — which would subject them to a host of regulations and costs.

Rep. Blake Johnson (D-Indianapolis) said his bill, HB 1019, protects many kids’ first experience with business.

“They learn about identifying investors, procuring products, ensuring stable supply chains, developing marketing plans, identifying customers, handling point-of-sale processes, dealing with competition from up the street and whether or not to spend their cold, hard cash or reinvest it in the business,” Johnson said.

READ MORE: How do I follow Indiana’s legislative session? Here’s your guide to demystify the process

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Johnson’s bill ensures no local government, agency or homeowners association can prohibit or regulate a stand run by someone who’s under age 18 and sells nonalcoholic beverages.

And the only rules the bill does impose on those stands is that if it’s on private property, the child needs the owner’s permission and the stand can’t operate for more than two days in a row and more than eight days out of every 30.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.