By Staff

AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – It started as a way to support businesses that were forced to shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, alcohol to-go will soon become a permanent offering for Texas businesses.

The Texas Senate on Wednesday passed House Bill 1024, which will now head to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk to be signed into law. The bill was authored by state Rep. Charlie Geren and sponsored by state Sen. Kelly Hancock.

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“Texas restaurants took a serious hit during the pandemic,” Hancock said in a statement. “Something as simple as letting Texans safely pick up and transport a cocktail from their local restaurant allowed thousands of businesses to keep operating, employ staff, and serve their communities for years to come. I want to thank Chairman Geren and our colleagues for working together to help this bill move quickly.”

In March 2020, Abbott signed an executive order that allowed alcohol to-go amid numerous orders during the pandemic.

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HB 2024 requires the alcohol to be sold in sealed and tamper-proof containers and be picked up as part of food orders.

“Bars and restaurants in Texas have leaned on cocktails to-go throughout the pandemic as a lifeline to keep their doors open and generate revenue,” said Kristi Brown, Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, Senior Director of State Government Relations. “Now, the legislature has taken action to make this critical measure permanent and provide long-term support for Texas businesses. We thank Governor Abbott for being a vocal supporter of cocktails to-go and encourage him to sign this bill as soon as possible and make the business- and consumer-friendly measure permanent in Texas.”

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If signed, the law would go into effect starting Sept. 1, 2021. Staff