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KANKAKEE, Ill. (CBS) — A new law has been inspired by a story you saw first on CBS 2.

It is not every day that a teenager changes Illinois law. Two years ago, we shared the story of Hayli Martenez, who was forced to stop running her lemonade stand in Kankakee.

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As CBS 2’s Jim Williams reported Wednesday, state legislators heard about it and went to work.

Hayli is all of 13 years old, and a new state law bears her name.

Williams: “Could you have imagined two years ago when we first did your story that a law would be passed with your name on it?”

Hayli Martenez: “No, never in a million years!”

It’s called Hayli’s Law. We first told you about Hayli Martenez in July 2019.

Her dream was shattered when her lemonade stand outside her Kankakee home was shut down by county health officials – who called it unsanitary.

“I said: ‘Are you serious? Are you really serious that we have to stop making lemonade?’” mom Iva Martenez said at the time.

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Our story sparked outrage around the world. Government overreach, many said. They asked, isn’t the sidewalk lemonade stand a rite of passage for children everywhere?

“We never thought that a lemonade for 50 cents can go big,” Iva Martenez said, “and then the support that came from people of all different nationalities – all over the world.”

Hayli’s plight inspired Hayli’s Law, which will allow all children under 16 in Illinois to operate a lemonade stand without a permit. Gov. JB Pritzker signed the legislation last week.

State Sen. Patrick Joyce (D-Park Forest) sponsored the law.

“If she’s got the initiative to run a lemonade stand, she should be able to make a little money running a lemonade stand,” Joyce said.

Now that Hayli will be able to operate her business without restrictions, where she serves that lemonade is set for upgrade. She has a new and improved portable lemonade stand – courtesy of the Kankakee mayor and an alderman.

“I’m proud of Hayli and I’m proud of everybody, and I’m thankful for everybody who stood by us,” said Iva Martenez.

The young entrepreneur saving coins for a college fund is back in business.

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“Thank you guys for supporting me,” Hayli said. “Thank you guys for keeping a smile on me and my mom’s face.”

Source: CBS Chicago

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