Texas House OK’s earlier beer and wine sales on Sundays and beer to go from craft breweries

Beer and wine drinkers in Texas may soon have a few more options.

The Texas House on Friday signed off on a plan to allow beer and wine sales on Sunday mornings, two hours earlier than currently allowed, and beer-to-go sales from craft breweries.

The Texas House approved the proposal Friday 137-1, with state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, casting the only vote in opposition.

The provisions were added earlier this week to a bill that extends the life of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.

The bill heads to the Texas Senate, where members could approve the measures or strip them from the bill.

Texas lawmakers have until the end of their legislative session, May 27, to pass laws.

House Bill 1545 is the overall TABC bill that was passed.

An amendment by state Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, lets beer and wine sales begin at 10 a.m. Sundays at convenience and grocery stores. Sales now begin at noon.

Springer’s amendment does not impact liquor stores because of the so-called “blue laws” in place that prevent the sale of certain products on Sundays. Those laws have evolved through the years, but measures in Texas still ban package liquor sales on Sundays and vehicles sales on consecutive weekend days.

Another amendment by state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin, would let Texas craft breweries sell beer to go, which they are not allowed to do. He tweeted that his goal was to get “this common-sense bipartisan reform over the finish line.”

On Friday, state Rep. Richard Raymond, D-Laredo, unsuccessfully tried to add another amendment to the bill, which would have let liquor stores choose which day of the week they wanted to close their doors.

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Anna M. Tinsley grew up in a journalism family and has been a reporter for the Star-Telegram since 2001. She has covered the Texas Legislature and politics for more than two decades and has won multiple awards for political reporting, most recently a third place from APME for deadline writing. She is a Baylor University graduate.