Legislative Update: Senate Hearing Recap

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013, The Senate Committee on Business and Commerce held a hearing, the first step in the lawmaking process (see our previous post here for an overview on the steps), and one of our board members, Leslie, was able to attend and testify in favor of SB 515-518. You can download the video of the hearing here (you will also need to have RealPlayer to view).
The room was packed with local brewers, lobbyists, the Beer Alliance of Texas, The Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas, Texas Bar & Night Club Alliance, Licensed Beverage Distributors, Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, Anheuser-Busch and even some non-industry groups such as the Texas Association of Manufacturers, Texas Consumer Coalition, Texas Retailers Association, and Texas Association of Business, to name more than few. You can see the full list of witnesses, both testifying and not, here.
Without giving a full play-by-play, you can check out the OTT tweets from the hearing below.
[View the story "Senate Hearing 3/5/13" on Storify]
Our major takeaways from the hearing are this:
1. There is tremendous support for SB 515-518, and we are cautiously confident that the bills will continue moving through the legislative process.
2. The Committee will vote next Tuesday (March 12th, 2013) IF the committee can come to an agreement on a different, but related bill, SB 639, which OTT does NOT support. If they can’t reach an accord, all of the bills may be pushed back to later in the session.
At this time, it's difficult to make predictions about what will happen next week, but we will provide any updates as soon as we have them!