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

Under current state law, licensed retailers, such as convenience and grocery stores, can't sell wine or beer for off-premise consumption until noon on Sundays

Under current state law, licensed retailers, such as convenience and grocery stores, can't sell wine or beer for off-premise consumption until noon on Sundays

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.


MOST RECENT

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon begins rollout of statewide vaccination clinics for employees

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Confederate memorial outside the Denton County-Courthouse-on-the-Square
Texas Historical Commission approves relocation of Denton County's Confederate memorial

The Texas Historical Commission executive committee unanimously approved plans to relocate the Confederate monument to its new home inside the Denton County Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum.

The Spicy Fried Chicken Sando is one of several offerings on Fuku's menu. (Courtesy Fuku)
Fried chicken kitchen opens in Plano; The Heritage Table to reopen in Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Federal funding is set aside for public schools to address effects of the pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Why Texas has not yet distributed $18 billion in federal funds intended for public schools

As budget decisions loom for school districts across Texas, state leaders are holding on to federal funds intended for public schools to use in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A hand typing on an ATM keypad
DATCU Credit Union opens Lewisville branch

Membership in the credit union is open to residents of Denton and 10 other counties.

Lewisville voters will decide in May whether to add a sixth member to the Lewisville City Council in the event that annexation of Castle Hills is approved. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
Lewisville voters will decide in May whether to add 6th member to City Council

Lewisville voters will decide this spring whether to alter the makeup of the city’s government. If passed, Proposition A on the May 1 ballot would add a sixth seat to Lewisville City Council.

city building
Security upgrades approved for Highland Village city facilities

The Highland Village City Council unanimously approved a bid April 13 to complete security upgrades to city facilities.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said power outages are not expected April 13, while requesting energy conservation. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATE: ERCOT call for energy conservation ends April 13 without need for power outages

An ERCOT official said "tight" supply and demand conditions arose on the state's electric grid April 13 due to forecasting issues amid planned, seasonal maintenance outages by some power generators.

On April 12, the Lewisville ISD board of trustees authorized the final payment to cover wind and hail damage sustained at eight campuses during a 2017 storm. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Lewisville ISD board OKs final payment related to 2017 storm damage

On April 12, the Lewisville ISD board of trustees authorized the final payment to cover wind and hail damage sustained at eight campuses during a 2017 storm.

The chain has several restaurants in Texas, including two in College Station. (Courtesy I Heart Mac & Cheese)
I Heart Mac & Cheese coming to Highland Village; Gyro Shop opens in Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The Lewisville ISD board of trustees approved upgrades to Wellington Elementary School at the April 12 board meeting. (Anna Herod/Community Impact Newspaper)
Lewisville ISD board OKs upgrades to Wellington Elementary, turf replacements at three high schools

Wellington Elementary School in Flower Mound will receive an estimated $9.65 million in improvements to its building and playground.

board meeting
Lewisville ISD to convert more campuses to STEM academies

Lewisville ISD is converting four middle school campuses and one elementary campus to STEM academies for the 2021-22 school year.