I reported last week that House Bill 602, which would benefit Texas microbrewers, ran into serious trouble week at the Legislature. Well, good news: Somehow (I'm still chasing the story), the bill moved out of Senate committee this morning, reported favorably without amendments, and has been recommended for the "Local & Uncontested" calendar. I have more details on The Austin Chronicle's Newsdesk blog, please go give it a read.
Next up: It needs to pass the Senate. If the Senate makes any amendments — presumably it won't, if it's on Local & Uncontested [UPDATE: I've been told by the office of bill author Rep. Jessica Farrar that being on "local and uncontested" is not a guarantee of smooth passage. It could also end up on the "intent" calendar, which meanst it will be debated. The spokesman said "some senators are not fully convinced." — it would have to go to conference committee to iron out the differences with the House version, and then to the governor's desk for passage or a veto. This bill definitely isn't out of the woods yet, but this is a hopeful sign.
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