State Sen. Seth Harp, R-Midland, said today that he will bring back his effort to legalize packaged-to-go Sunday alcohol sales.
The legislation has been controversial in recent sessions, and failed to pass. It sparked efforts against it by conservative Christian groups, and efforts for it by the grocery industry.
"We're gonna try," Harp said, adding that he's "cautiously optimistic" this time out.
"When you're in the hunt for money, there's a lot of money that could be made in terms of sales tax. ..." Harp said. "That gives a little leverage."
The state is in the middle of a budget crunch, having already held back raises for many employees and cut most departments by 6 percent this year. Deeper cuts are expected and November revenue figures are expected to be released within the hour.
Harp's legislation would basically be the same as it was two years ago, he said. Local counties and cities would have to call for a local referendum — and the votes would have to approve — before Sunday sales would be authorized in a given community.