The Statesman has a story today about three bills proposed this year that would allow the sale of liquor on Sundays in Texas. Currently, liquor can be sold in stores to consumers Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It can not be sold on Sundays, New Year’s Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving or the Mondays that follow those holidays if they fall on a Sunday.
First, HB 863 proposed by Rep. Gutierrez would allow two new times to sell liquor: Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. and the Mondays following the prohibited holidays when they fall on a Sunday. This is the simplest bill proposed.
Second, HB 815 proposed by Rep. Gonzales and the identical SB 557 proposed by Sen. Hinojosa would add an exemption to the current law by allowing the to sell liquor between noon and 9 p.m.
The two House Bills were considered in a public hearing on March 25, 2009 in the Licensing and Administrative Procedures committee and awaits action. The Senate Bill was referred to the Business and Commerce committee awaiting any action.
Personally, I have no dog in this fight beyond curiosity. I’ve always lived in Texas so not being able to buy liquor on Sunday is the equivalent of not being able to sit down with a banker at 3 a.m. on a Saturday morning–never known the world to be any different so it doesn’t bother me. I would, however, suggest that it should be statewide or nothing. Why should Mexican border counties get all of the fun?
Under the reasoning that folks will pass up stores in Texas for Mexico, then shouldn’t counties that border Louisiana be exempted as well as that state allows liquor sells 24-hours a day in supermarkets without the ability for a local parish (i.e. county) to restrict further or New Mexico as it allows Sunday sales when approved locally. North Texas would be out of luck as Oklahoma, in their state constitution, is much more restrictive than Texas and of the two counties in Arkansas that border Texas, one (Little River) is dry and the other (Miller) doesn’t allow liquor to be sold on Sundays.
I have a feeling that neither set of bills will gain much traction.