Illinois flip-flops on ‘cupcake’ bill, pleasing a 12-year-old Troy girl

 Chloe Stirling, 11, poses for a photo on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 at her home in Troy, Ill. Stirling had a thriving cupcake business out of her home until the Madison County Health Department told her to stop. Photo by Huy Mach,

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.  — Illinois lawmakers have revived a so-called “cupcake bill” introduced after a young girl’s home baking operation was shut down.

The Senate on Tuesday initially defeated the measure, which paves the way for home kitchen businesses making less than $1,000 per month.

But hours later, lawmakers moved to reconsider it and a controversial amendment was withdrawn. Legislators then voted 57-0 to approve the bill.

“Let them eat cupcakes,” said Sen. Heather Steans, a Chicago Democrat.

The legislation, which now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, was introduced after the Madison County Health Department shut down 12-year-old Chloe Stirling’s cupcake business in Troy.


After the initial vote, the girl said she was “kind of surprised … I learned that probably you don’t get what you want all the time, but it’s good to still try.”

Her mother, Heather Stirling, said Chloe learned a lot but called the outcome ridiculous and disappointing.

“We’re in the exact same spot that started this mess,” she told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Among the bill’s opponents during the Senate’s first vote was Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis, a dairy magnate who is running for U.S. Senate. He and other critics said the amendment — which was later withdrawn — imposed overly burdensome regulations.

Oberweis said the proposed rules would have sidetracked his own entrepreneurial spirit at a young age.

“This may sound like a silly thing known as the ‘cupcake girl’ bill, but this goes to the heart of what goes on in Springfield,” Oberweis said. “It’s an example of how we are Illinois-ing — killing — entrepreneurship among kids.”

The measure as approved requires sellers to tell consumers the product was made in a home.


The bill is HB5354.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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