Shutterstock.com (background); Mustafa Hussain/AP Images for Scholastic Inc. (Hayli Martenez)

I Inspired a New Law

Hayli’s Law was created to support young business owners like Hayli Martenez.

As You Read, Think About: How did Hayli help get a law passed?

On a hot summer day in 2017, 9-year-old Hayli Martenez set up a lemonade stand outside her home in Kankakee, Illinois. She thought it would be a great way to save up for college. But Hayli had no idea how this simple decision would change her life. 

Hayli’s lemonade stand was a success, and before long she was selling fun new flavors. She named her business Haylibug Lemonade. It became a town favorite, and the local newspaper even wrote a story about it.

That’s when things changed. In 2019, local officials demanded that Hayli, then 11, shut down her lemonade stand. They said that the stand didn’t meet health code requirements and that Hayli didn’t have the proper permit. 

Hayli didn’t think it was fair to stop a kid from selling lemonade on her front lawn.

On a hot summer day in 2017, 9-year-old Hayli Martenez set up a lemonade stand outside her home in Kankakee, Illinois. She thought it would be a great way to save up for college. But Hayli had no idea how this simple decision would change her life. 

Hayli’s lemonade stand was a success. Before long, she was selling fun new flavors. She named her business Haylibug Lemonadez. It became a town favorite. The local newspaper even wrote a story about it.

That’s when things changed. In 2019, local officials asked that Hayli, then 11, shut down her lemonade stand. They said that the stand didn’t meet health code requirements. They also said that Hayli didn’t have the proper permit. 

Hayli didn’t think it was fair to stop a kid from selling lemonade on her own front lawn.

Speaking Up

Still, Hayli stopped selling her lemonade. Word of Hayli’s shutdown spread, and it caught the attention of a county government official. Inspired by Hayli’s story, he drafted a bill, or a plan for a law, that would protect the right of kids who run lemonade stands. The bill landed on the desk of Illinois State Senator Patrick Joyce, who agreed to support it. 

Joyce invited Hayli to speak in front of a committee of lawmakers on March 3, 2021. Hayli and her mom drove nearly three hours to the state capitol in Springfield, Illinois. They even brought samples of Hayli’s lemonade so that everyone there could taste it. 

While Hayli was excited to get the chance to tell her story, she was also worried. She’d have to address a room full of representatives and senators. What if she said the wrong thing?

“I was so nervous that my voice started to quiver,” Hayli says. “I was talking extra fast and I was running out of breath!” 

But then Hayli remembered who she was representing. 

“I wanted to stick up for the little people, for boys and girls,” Hayli says. 

Her speech was convincing, and the bill eventually passed in both parts of the Illinois General Assembly—the Senate and the House of Representatives. Last July, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law. On January 1, 2022, Hayli’s Law officially went into effect. It says the government can’t regulate or require a permit for lemonade stands run by kids under 16. 

“I made history!” Hayli says. 

Still, Hayli stopped selling her lemonade. Word of Hayli’s shutdown spread. It caught the attention of a county government official. Inspired by Hayli’s story, he drafted a bill, or a plan for a law. It would protect the right of kids who run lemonade stands. The bill landed on the desk of Illinois State Senator Patrick Joyce. He agreed to support it. 

Joyce invited Hayli to speak in front of a committee of lawmakers on March 3, 2021. Hayli and her mom drove nearly three hours to the state capitol in Springfield, Illinois. They even brought samples of Hayli’s lemonade so that everyone there could taste it. 

While Hayli was excited to get the chance to tell her story, she was also worried. She’d have to address a room full of representatives and senators. What if she said the wrong thing? “I was so nervous that my voice started to quiver,” Hayli says. “I was talking extra fast and I was running out of breath!” 

But then Hayli remembered who she was representing. “I wanted to stick up for the little people, for boys and girls,” Hayli says. 

Her speech was convincing. The bill eventually passed in both parts of the Illinois General Assembly—the Senate and the House of Representatives. Last July, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law. On January 1, 2022, Hayli’s Law officially went into effect. It says the government can’t regulate or require a permit for lemonade stands run by kids under 16. 

“I made history!” Hayli says. 

Courtesy Office of Patrick Joyce (Patrick Joyce)

“Hayli was fearless and determined,” says Illinois Senator Patrick Joyce.

A Bright Future

Hayli has big plans for the future. She wants to go to college to become a doctor.   

“I just want to have a happily-ever-after life,” Hayli says. 

For now, she’s back in business and will be selling her lemonade again this summer. She hopes her experience and the new law will encourage other young entrepreneurs.

“Don’t let anyone stop your dreams,” Hayli advises.

Hayli has big plans for the future. She wants to go to college to become a doctor.

“I just want to have a happily-ever-after life,” Hayli says. 

For now, she’s back in business. She will be selling her lemonade again this summer. She hopes her experience and the new law will encourage other young entrepreneurs.

“Don’t let anyone stop your dreams,” Hayli advises.

  1. What role did Hayli play in getting the new Illinois law passed?
  2. What is the meaning of addressed? What clues in the article help you know?
  3. Hayli says “Don’t let anyone stop your dreams.” What does she mean?
  1. What role did Hayli play in getting the new Illinois law passed?
  2. What is the meaning of addressed? What clues in the article help you know?
  3. Hayli says “Don’t let anyone stop your dreams.” What does she mean?
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