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Lemonade stand leniency bill passes first step at Colorado Capitol

State legislators moved to protect children's lemonade stands Monday, unanimously moving forward a bill that allows them to operate without permits.

DENVER — Lemonade stands are closer to leniency.

A bill to legalize a minor's business, like a lemonade stand, without the need for a permit passed its first test at the Colorado State Capitol on Monday.

"We need to legislate it because we have people out there who are shutting down kids business, and I just think that that's insane," said Sen. Angela Williams (D-Denver).

Senate Bill 101, called "Legalizing Minors' Businesses," would allow kids to operate a small business without being shut down by police. 

Williams is sponsoring the bill, which is in response to a kids' lemonade stand that was shut down in Stapleton last year. Three boys and their mom, Jennifer Knowles, set up the lemonade stand near a Denver arts festival.

This bill would keep the heat off kids and their temporary businesses as long as they are younger than 18 and running a business for no more than 84 consecutive days.

Knowles, her children and other kids from across the state testified before a state Senate committee Monday on behalf of the legislation. Lawmakers then unanimously voted to advance it to the full Senate. 

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Kids who have temporary businesses set up shop in the foyer of the Capitol ahead of Monday's committee hearing.

"This is like a life-learning experience, so these kids who are here today for the 'Kids Mart,' are not only learning how to run a business, organizational skills (and) money management skills, and the earlier we can teach our kids that, I think it makes them more productive adults," said Williams.

Credit: Jennifer Knowles

Knowles told 9NEWS Governor Jared Polis spoke with the group at the capitol Monday, and told them he will sign the bill if it comes to him.

As of September, minors can legally operate a lemonade stand within Denver city limits, if they're 200 feet away from another vendor permitted to sell drinks.

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