Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Texas legislature Update

Its been a while since I've posted anything on the Texas Beer bills. I've been out on vacation (more on that in a day or two) and a lot has happened. I hope that you have been able to make it out to one of the rallies either supporting hB 660 or HB 602. The good news is that both bills have been submitted to the appropriate committee for hearings. The oversight committee will be the Licensing and Administrative Procedures Committee. Below is the list of each committee member, with a link to their webpage so that if you feel moved you can write them a letter telling them how important these two bills are. Not only for the craft beer movement, but both bills I believe will increase state revenues. I've also added a link to their ballotpedia page that will allow you to see who their top contributors are. You will not be surprised to see that many times big beer distributors or their lobbying arm are filling the coffers of your local politicians.

Mike Hamilton (R) - Serving since 2003 - Chair of the Committee - Click here for list of donors.
Chente Quintanilla (D) - Serving since 2003 - Vice Chair of the Committee - Click here for top donors. Licensed Beverage Distributors was one of his larger donors.
Joe Driver (R) - Serving since 1993 - Click here for list of top donors. Has received money from Licensed Beverage Distributors in the past.
Charlie Geren (R) - Serving since 2001 - Click here for list of top donors.
Roland Gutierrez (D) - Serving since 2008 - Click here for list of top donors. Interesting note is he is for repeal of blue laws, he states that its to help level the playing field for small business...
Patricia Harless (R) - Serving since 2007 - Click here for list of top donors.
John Kuempel (R) - Serving since 2010 - Mr. Kuempel is replacing his father who passed away last year.
Jose Menendez (D) - Serving since 2001 - Click here for list of top donors.
Senfronia Thompson (D) - Serving since 1973 - Click here for list of top donors.

Hopefully this gives you more information on the folks that will be deciding HB 660 and 602. No date has been scheduled but I'll post that once I know. Again I encourage you all to write not only your local representative, but all these members on the board.

Lastly I'd like to point everyone to the Texas Beer Freedom website. A one stop shop for news on HB 660. You can sign a petition to help get this bill passed, you can also donate funds to help lobbying efforts. Obviously the backers behind this bill don't have the money that the big distributors have, so every little bit will help.


SirRon said...

I am hearing that 660 is pretty much dead in the water. Is this not what you are hearing from your peoples?

Barleyvine said...

I've not heard that HB 660 is dead per se. What Scott Metzger from Freetail has said is that they have sat down with some folks in the legislature and come up with a compromise bill. Whether that means there is an amendment made to HB 660 or if a whole new bill is written I don't know.

SirRon said...

What I do know is that I wish we weren't having this conversation and instead Texas' small businesses were not unnecessarily and unfairly regulated. I wish it luck, but I'd be surprised to see anything as optimistic as that original bill get passed.