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No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 645 would repeal sections of the Alcoholic Beverage Code which prohibit any person from holding an interest, directly or indirectly, in more than five package (liquor) stores, and which would allow one or two persons who are related and have a majority of the ownership of two or more package store permits to consolidate the package store businesses into a single legal entity.
Texas Action supports SB 645 for promoting the principles of free markets, limited government and individual liberty. There is no reason the government should limit how many package stores a person runs. These current sections of the Alcoholic Beverage Code interfere in the free market by giving an edge to certain package store holders by allowing them to combine into a single entity with other family members.
For example, a large family could easily expand their package store business if each member of the family holds a package store permit. The law allows this because these family members are related within the first degree of consanguinity. Their competitors, on the other hand, may not be fortunate enough to have a family that is involved in the alcoholic beverage business.
The example above poses a clear barrier to businesses that cannot expand beyond one package store permit holder. Moreover, the current laws pose an unfair competitive advantage to package stores that may expand just because they have family in the business, which violates the Equal Protection Clause. This is clearly the improper role for government to play in the economy. Therefore, we support this bill for bringing this law into compliance with the U.S. Constitution, and promoting free markets and the equal application of the law.