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Session Lessons: Making margaritas to-go legal post COVID-19 pandemic

Gov. Abbott’s executive order temporarily allowing restaurants to serve alcohol to-go is poised to become law in Texas.

The COVID pandemic has forced all Americans to experience things no one wants to experience again.

But Texans might miss one pandemic trend if it disappears once COVID does: alcohol to-go.

Governor Greg Abbott issued an order allowing Texas venues to offer alcohol to-go in June 2020. 

But his order is temporary.

He tweeted his support for permanently legalizing alcohol to-go in Texas.

State Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, and State Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, already filed bills that would make alcohol to-go law in Texas.

Here is what's ahead for those bills. It's the process any bill in Texas follows to become law. 

Geren’s bill will be assigned to a House committee for review, discussion, debate, a possible hearing, and a potential vote. 

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The same will happen to Hancock’s bill in a Senate committee.

Sometimes bills are changed while they are being considered by committees.

Sometimes they are not even brought up for discussion in committee.

And, sometimes bills never make it out of a committee.

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Alcohol to-go likely won’t have a problem, because Republicans and Democrats have indicated their support believing it would help restaurants that have suffered big financial hits during the COVID pandemic.

If enough committee members approve a bill, it moves to the floor of the House and Senate where all members can debate it and vote on it.

If a bill passes through both chambers, it is sent to Gov. Abbott’s desk.

He can sign it, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.

Given that Abbott has already thrown his support behind alcohol to-go, it appears a new Texas tradition is on the way.

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