Tedisco to Intro New “Lemon-Aid” Law for Children to Keep Lemonade Stands Open for Business in NY

James Tedisco

July 31, 2018

Senator Tedisco says State has declared open season on child entrepreneurs in the wake of shutting down 7-year-old Brendan Mulvaney of Ballston Spa’s lemonade stand; State should reimburse Mulvaney for lost wages

Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C,I,REF-Glenville) announced he is drafting new legislation, “The Lemon-Aid Law” to help keep child-run lemonade stands open for business in New York State.

The legislation is in response to the New York State Health Department’s closing down on Friday of 7-year-old Brendan Mulvaney’s lemonade stand outside his Ballston Spa home. According to Mulvaney’s father, Sean, the state Health inspector tried taking a picture of the boy and his sign selling lemonade and told them they had to stop selling lemonade, bottled water and sno-cones without giving them her card or any guidance as to how to move forward.  Brendan was saving money for a family trip to Disney World.

Last night, the Health Department apologized to Brendan and said the “agency does not inspect children’s lemonade stands” and that the DOH “does not issue permits for or oversee lemonade stands.” However, that was misdirection by the DOH and the agency has now back-tracked and is saying that Brendan needs a permit.

Today, the Health Department told Tedisco’s office that permits are required to operate lemonade stands according to state regulations but they do not enforce it.  When Senator Tedisco asked the agency if Brendan Mulvaney would have to purchase a temporary food service permit just to sell lemonade and not bottled water and sno-cones, the department said yes but they don’t enforce it.  The cost of a permit is $30. Mulvaney is being asked to pay for the Friday he was shut down. Tedisco noted that if there is a regulation that’s in place that’s not being enforced it should be eliminated

Tedisco’s bill would exempt children who operate pop-up lemonade stands under adult supervision from having to obtain and pay for any state permits.

“This new ‘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 an all-out-assault and open season by our state government and this Administration on the wonderful American experience of children operating lemonade stands. It’s an overreach and a sad commentary on the current state of New York State’s government that I have to introduce new legislation to protect the entrepreneurial dreams of children selling lemonade. These kids are trying to give people sweet lemonade and learn some important business skills but the overzealous state bureaucrats in the administration just keep giving taxpayers lemons,” said Tedisco. 

“This is a microcosm of what’s wrong with New York State. No wonder New York State has lost one million people in the past decade and close to 200,000 people in the past year. What’s going on in New York State where we have a serious government corruption problem but the state is instead wasting taxpayer dollars harassing 7-year-old kids selling lemonade? If this continues, we won’t be known as the ‘Empire State’ any longer, but we’ll become the ‘Empty State,’” said Tedisco.

Tedisco also is calling on the Health Department to waive the permit fee for the day Brendan Mulvaney was shut down and reimburse the boy for lost wages for the loss of business on that busy Friday night and weekend at the Saratoga County Fair.

“Because the DOH bureaucrat did not inform Brendan he could continue to sell lemonade but not the water and sno-cones, the state should do the right thing and waive the permit fee and reimburse Brendan for the money he lost that night and weekend.  And if they don’t, I will do so out of my own pocket,” said Tedisco.