A great update this morning to a story we first heard about earlier this year on The Kelly File. A 12-year-old girl named Chloe Stirling was selling cupcakes for $2 each and she was doing so well that a local paper in Illinois decided to do a story on her.
That caused the health department to take notice, and she was forced to stop selling cupcakes because she did not have a business license or a state-certified kitchen.
Now, state lawmakers have passed the "Cupcake Bill," which will allow Chloe to once again sell the cupcakes that she bakes in her home kitchen.
"I feel happy that it passed because now I get to bake again," said Chloe, who started baking after taking a class at a local Michael's store.
Her mom, Heather Stirling, told Elisabeth Hasselbeck that when the bill was first proposed she thought it was "reaching for the moon."
But apparently lawmakers agreed that the enforcement of the state ban on selling home-baked good was being taken too far.
Read more on the bill's passage below, via the Belleville News-Democrat:
The Madison County Health Department's shut-down of Chloe's cupcake-making enterprise spurred Meier to file the bill. Chloe wasn't at the Capitol on Thursday, but Meier said she's happy with the revised bill.
Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons said the amended bill seems to be a good compromise that takes into account public safety and individual freedom. He said he would encourage the Madison County Board to adopt the type of ordinance that is required in the bill.
"I'm totally in favor of that. In fact, I'll help write the ordinance," Gibbons said. "This looks pretty reasonable, pretty workable."
The bill states that in order to qualify as a "home kitchen operation," monthly gross sales cannot exceed $1,000, the food cannot be potentially hazardous, and the operator must provide notice to the purchaser that the food was produced in a home kitchen.
Meier says many churches and other charitable organizations have dinners as fundraisers, where individual members of the organization each bring baked items. For example, he said, a church might sell chicken dinners, with each dinner including a slice of home-baked pie or cake. Meier said he's OK with the church's kitchen having to meet health regulations, but it's going too far to impose health regulations on every home kitchen where a pie is baked.
Chloe's cupcake operation was featured in the BND Magazine in January. Madison County health officials have said they shut Chloe down after receiving a complaint from an adult who was denied permission to sell products baked at home.
The House passed the bill 106-0.