Chloe Stirling and her mother visited with Governor Quinn earlier this year | Image Source
SPRINGFIELD – The Senate sponsors of legislation that left the Illinois House with unanimous support amended the bill Tuesday to make it more difficult and expensive for an 11 year old Illinois girl to launch a cupcake business.
The entrepreneurial spirit of a young girl and others like her could be crushed by Senate committee action to load down a good public health House bill with “red tape” and fees, according to State Sen. Jim Oberweis (R-Sugar Grove).
“Illinois is working to quash the entrepreneurial spirit that makes our state a great place to live. Chloe Stirling, a 12-year-old cupcake baker from Troy who was shut down by overly strict implementation of public health rules, brought her case to the General Assembly. The House of Representatives did its job and passed House Bill 5354, a good compromise that would inform potential consumers that items are home-cooked,” Oberweis said. “That bill is now before the Senate, where it has been loaded down with unreasonable regulatory burdens.”
Democrat members of the Senate Public Health Committee voted to require young entrepreneurs like Chloe Stirling to get a permit from the local health department, at a cost of $25.00. As amended, House Bill 5354 also requires that individuals supervising or managing home-kitchen operations hold the required Food Service Sanitation Management Certificate, which requires an eight-hour course that costs $145.00.
“Who hasn’t bought a cup of lemonade from a child in the neighborhood or purchased some cookies from a local bake sale? I understand the desire to inform potential customers that the goods were baked in a private home, and to disclose the ingredients to avoid allergies,” Oberweis said. “But not surprisingly, this childhood tradition is being ‘Illinoisized’ – loaded down with ‘red tape,’ fees and regulations that undermine any initiative or entrepreneurial spirit. What message are we sending to our young people? This is typical of the way the Illinois political class tends to discourage young entrepreneurs (and older entrepreneurs as well).”
Shortly after State Senator Donne Trotter amended the bill in the Senate Public Health Committee to make additional fees and requirements, the only Republican sponsor - Senator Kyle McCarter (R-Highland) removed his name from the bill.
House Bill 5354 now moves to the full Senate for consideration.