AUSTIN — Sunday shoppers across Texas could buy booze before noon, under a bill the Senate approved Friday.
The measure cleared the chamber in 26-4 and now heads to the House.
The legislation would let grocery and convenience stores start selling beer and wine at 10 a.m. on Sunday, two hours earlier than what’s currently allowed. Restaurants can already serve customers alcohol starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
Sen. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, said the timing change is about convenience for morning shoppers.
“Anybody who goes to a Costco, Sam’s (Club), a grocery store at 11:45 a.m. on Sunday knows why it’s needed,” Springer said. “It’s not that anybody’s going to drink more, it’s just a convenience factor.”
Springer also made the economic case, saying the time differential “causes a loss of revenue and economic activity, especially from out-of-state vacationers who are not familiar with Texas law,” according to his statement of intent. “Modernization of alcohol sale laws would also benefit distributors and restaurants that specialize in breakfast cuisine,” it said.
There was no debate on the Senate floor.
It remains to be seen whether the House will embrace the change. There are less than two weeks left in the legislative session.
The proposal, Senate Bill 585, would not change operations at liquor stores, which cannot sell spirits on Sunday.
Gov. Greg Abbott already signed a bill into law this session making it legal for Texas businesses to sell alcohol to-go indefinitely.