UPDATE 5.28.2014 - SPRINGFIELD - After being soundly rejected for sinking an attempt to relieve young entrepreneurs from burdensome food service regulations, State Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) removed his amendments to HB 5354, and the "cupcake girl bill" passed the Illinois Senate unanimously Tuesday evening. Three co-sponsors also signed back onto the bill:
SPRINGFIELD - 5.27.2014 - A majority of the Democrat-controlled Senate agree with State Senator Jim Oberweis (R-Aurora) that it was "insane" to pass legislation that could cost $200 for a kid to set up a lemonade stand in Illinois. A bill failed in the Senate that would require cupcake business and lemonade stand owners, as well as other small food revenue venturers to pay permit fees and take an eight-hour food preparer sanitation course, costing more.
Oberweis' critical comments were during a press conference last week, when three Republican senators condemned State Senator Donne Trotter's plan to turn around a House bill that was originally introduced to make starting a business less regulated, not more.
Senator Trotter lost all his co-sponsors when he added more requirements to the "cupcake bill," losing even his Democrat colleagues State Senators William Haine and James Clayborne, Jr.
"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 state representative of the little girl Oberweis referred to - Chloe Stirling of Troy - stepped in to help his constitutent. State Representative Charlie Meier introduced a law that would help those in Chloe's business 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.
A talk show host stepped in a few months ago to pay for Chloe Stirling's family to have a commerical kitchen installed in her house. Despite the loss of the bill, she'll be able to continue her business. But the bill's defeat leaves a lot of questions unanswered for county health departments as to which regulations they should enforce.
HB 5674 lost in the Illinois Senate in a 17 to 32, vote with 6 present: