Texas' booze landscape is famously arcane, part holdover from Prohibition-era teetotaling, part jigsaw puzzle carved out by liquor interests and the municipalities that profit from them. Frustrating, too, when you find yourself on the dry side of a county line or try to buy a beer a six pack at 11:59 a.m. on a Sunday.
A bill filed yesterday by Houston state Rep. Senfronia Thompson filed yesterday would inject at least a bit more sense back in Texas' liquor laws.
Thompson's proposal would, for the first time since about forever, allow liquor stores to open on Sunday, from noon to 10 p.m. The no-hard-booze-on-Sunday rule is, of course, one of two remaining blue laws in Texas, the other applying to car sales.
It's long been apparent that blue laws don't make any rational sense, but why now?
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A repeal of the liquor rule first gained momentum during the 2011 legislative session as lawmakers where looking for ways to plug gaping holes in the budget. The thinking was that giving people an extra day to buy liquor would boost sales and, as a result, tax revenues.
Surprisingly, the liquor lobby hasn't exactly rallied behind the cause. Greg Wonsmos, president of the Texas Package Stores Association, told the Texas Tribune in 2011 that there has been no demand from customers to be open on Sundays.
"We believe that Sunday sales would simply spread six days of sales over seven days," he said.
The industry's tepid support contributed to the downfall of the 2011 legislative push. There are no signs that this time will be different, but one never knows.