‘This is freedom’: Texas House moves to expand alcohol sales on Sundays and at breweries

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The Texas House voted Thursday to extend beer and wine sales on Sundays and to let craft breweries sell beer to go.

Those new expansions of alcohol sales were amendments to a broader bill regarding the efficiency and operations of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission that must pass this legislative session in order to avoid shutting down the agency.

Both amendments were opposed by the bill’s author, state Rep. Chris Paddie, R-Marshall. Paddie still cast a vote for the legislation, which received preliminary passage along a 135-0 vote, though he noted that the bill was no longer “completely clean.”

The bill will still need a final stamp of approval in the House before it can head to the Senate for consideration. Once it’s in the upper chamber, members there can tweak the legislation. That means the upper chamber could strip those two new amendments from the legislation. (Update: The House passed the bill on third reading Friday morning, sending it to the Senate.)

The two amendments proposed by state Reps. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, and Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, consumed most of the debate Thursday. Springer’s amendment would allow beer and wine sales to begin at 10 a.m. instead of noon on Sundays in licensed retailers such as convenience and grocery stores. It passed in a 99-40 vote. In laying out his amendment, Springer said his motion would put wine and beer sales in line with what’s currently allowed at on-premise consumption locations, such as restaurants and bars.

“We allow country clubs to sell mimosas at 10 a.m.,” Springer said during the debate on the House floor.

He also said his proposal won’t affect liquor stores, which aren’t allowed to operate on Sundays.

The passage of Springer’s amendment was met with a chipper response from state Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, who exclaimed upon its passage: “This is freedom. This is eagles!”

The House narrowly approved Rodriguez’s amendment allowing craft breweries to sell beer to go — something that’s already legal in every other state, the representative said Thursday evening.

His amendment produced more of a nail-biter in the chamber. Paddie initially moved to table the amendment, and it initially looked like he prevailed by a one-vote margin. But a verification vote later clarified that the amendment was actually favorable to a majority of House members.

“We have to make these changes for these small breweries to grow,” Rodriguez said. “Let’s vote for small businesses here in Texas. Let’s vote for beer to go.”

The House is expected to give HB 1545 a final vote on Friday.

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  1. I don’t think this is worthy or our lawmakers attention. Before you tear down a fence find out why it was put there in the first place.

    • Are you sure about that? I can think of a few laws that were not put in place for any good reason at all. Jim Crow laws? Blue laws?

      It’s unclear to me how anyone would think you should not be able to buy beer to go at the source of the beer. The only people against it are distributors and large beer corporations.

      Also- many small businesses have client appreciation gatherings on Sundays. Sometimes Realtors host open houses that serve alcohol on Sundays. It seems kind of ridiculous that these people can’t purchase something to serve until after 12 on a Sunday.

  2. These outdated beer/liquor laws need to go. If a portion of the population feels that they shouldn’t be purchasing or drinking alcohol at certain times of day… then they can continue on the straight and narrow.

    For the rest of us… We’d like to be able to purchase the products that we can legally purchase any other time when it’s convenient for us.

  3. I will never understand why people greenlight one of the most deadly substances on the Planet Earth, and yet you’re still seething about Marijuana and CBD usage in Texas. LoL, so hypocritical. “This is Freedom!” Yeah, so is allowing consenting age adults the freedom to enjoy a plant from Mother Nature. If TX doesn’t hurry and do something, they’re going to get sued by a ton of health advocacy organizations. I’m personally thinking of launching a lawsuit for not being able to obtain it for my HIV/AIDS symptoms. I should be able to put WHATEVER I want in my body at this point and time.

    But, freedom only for the vices of the majority. Typical.

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