SPRINGFIELD - It could soon cost $200 for kids to set up a lemonade stand, have a bake sale or sell cupcakes in Illinois.
"This is absolutely insane!" State Senator Jim Oberweis (R-Aurora) said at a Capitol press conference Friday. "Somebody in Madison County went crazy and decided to enforce a law against an 11 year old kid who was baking cupcakes. That was a mistake, but it happened."
In the House, the little girl Oberweis referred to - Chloe Stirling of Troy's State Representative Charlie Meier tried to do the right thing by introducing a law that would help those in her situation and exempt up to $1000 in sales.
"Then what happened? It came to the Senate... We 'Illinois-ized' the bill - doing things the way we do in Illinois, which is everything we can to discourage entrepeneurism to discourage business interests," Oberweis told reporters.
Meier’s bill, which would have exempted food product entrepeneurs making less than $1000 from burdensome health department regulations, passed the Illinois House and was picked up by Democrat Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago).
Trotter amended the bill to require anyone selling food products to take an 8 hour food service sanitation course costing $145, obtain a county health department permit costing $25, label the food products to indicate ingredients and the fact that they are homemade, plus another $35 fee.
Senator Kyle McCarter, who is the Cupcake Girl’s state senator, signed onto the bill as a co-sponsor before Trotter added the new regulations. McCarter requested another amendment to exempt those making $250 or less a month from the amended requirements. His proposal was rejected by the Public Health Committee.