Governor Abbott signs bill making cocktails to-go permanent in Texas

Texas Politics

Texas becomes 10th state to make COVID-19 era cocktails to-go measure permanent

AUSTIN, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Governor Greg Abbott signed HB 1024 this morning, making Texas the 10th state to adopt a COVID-19 era cocktails to-go measure permanently.

House Bill 1024 authorizes the holder of a mixed beverage permit who also holds a food and beverage certificate to allow consumers to pick up sealed alcoholic beverages from the premises. It also will allow the delivery of alcoholic beverages in a tamper-proof container. The legislation also applies to private clubs with a proper license.

The Bill passed with 144-1 in March. The lone nay was State Rep. Matt Shaheen, R-Plano.

The Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) said that it worked closely with Gov. Abbott, the Texas Legislature, and stakeholders throughout the alcoholic beverage industry to craft the bill.

“The Texas Restaurant Association and our members applaud Gov. Abbott and the Texas Legislature for fast-tracking HB 1024 to ensure restaurants maintain their ability to sell alcohol to-go,” said Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D., President and CEO of TRA. “Gov. Abbott’s emergency waiver allowing alcohol to-go during the pandemic saved thousands of restaurant jobs, creating a new revenue stream and unleashing the innovation that restaurants will need to rebuild from the pandemic. We still have a long road to recovery ahead, but with tools like alcohol to-go, the restaurant industry’s future is brighter than ever in Texas.”

Other entities supporting HB 1024 include the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States.

“Governor Abbott acted quickly to support Texas restaurants and bars by allowing cocktails to-go via executive order during the pandemic,” said Kristi Brown, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States Senior Director of State Government Relations. “Cocktails to-go provided a much-needed lifeline for struggling hospitality businesses and prevented the permanent closure of many. Now that this measure is permanent, hospitality businesses will have increased stability as they begin the long path to recovery. We applaud the Texas Legislature and Governor Abbott for supporting local businesses and for providing increased convenience to consumers.”

According to the Association Iowa, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Montana, Arkansas, West Virginia, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas and the District of Columbia have all made COVID-era cocktails to-go measures permanent.

via KXAN

Other bills regarding alcohol sales in the Texas Legislature include one to allow seven-day spirits sales statewide (HB 937), and others that would allow local option elections for seven-day spirits sales (SB 1013 and HB 2232 ).

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