87th Texas Legislature

Alcoholic Beverages To-Go One Step Closer to Becoming Permanent in Texas

Gov. Abbott allowed restaurants to serve alcohol to-go at the start of the pandemic and now lawmakers want to make it permanent.

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It is not something you see every day in the Texas Legislature -- an almost unanimous vote on a bill

"That’s a pretty good vote tally,” said Rep. Justin Holland (R-Rockwall)

But by a vote of 144-1, the Texas House voted in favor of a bill that would allow restaurants to serve alcoholic beverages to-go, which Gov. Greg Abbott implemented after the start of the pandemic.

“What we know is that it’s been so helpful for these small businesses. I have talked to restaurants in my district that are getting up to $20,000 a year annualized more because of this policy,” said Holland, who is one of the authors of the bill.

The Texas Restaurant Association issued the following statement.

“The TRA is thrilled that restaurants are one step closer to offering alcoholic drinks to-go on a permanent basis. Texans overwhelmingly support alcohol to-go, and the entire industry has rallied around the practice to ensure it is implemented safely. We’re grateful to the Texas House and Chairman Geren for prioritizing restaurant recovery with HB 1024, and we look forward to getting it to Governor Abbott’s desk soon.”

Sen. Kelly Hancock, (R-North Richland Hills) authored the same bill in the Senate.  He said he was optimistic it would pass and said he wasn’t aware of any senators who oppose it.

“This was a significant benefit during that time, and as well as customers. I mean, customers loved it,” Hancock said.

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