KATY (Covering Katy News) - Texas State Rep. Gina Calanni (D-Katy) is urging Gov. Greg Abbott to sign an executive order to allow Texas distillers to sell more than two bottles per person within 30 days at their distilleries. Currently, individuals are only allowed to purchase two bottles, on-site, from any Texas distillery in thirty days.

"Following an outpouring of support from constituents, Rep. Calanni joined a bipartisan group of 35 other House colleagues in supporting a waiver to give these Texas small businesses temporary regulatory relief," said a statement from Rep. Calanni's office.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced distillers to close tasting rooms for over a month, preventing Texans from visiting tasting rooms, and purchasing bottles and mixed drinks. As a result, Texas distillers have experienced an 80 percent loss of revenue since COVID-19 mitigation efforts have been instituted," Calanni said. "A temporary waiver allowing more direct-to-consumer sales will give craft distillers a fighting chance to maintain operations and keep their employees on payroll.”

Distillers estimate that suspending the two bottle limit will increase curbside sales by 35 percent and allow them to re-hire staff — a critical need in this time of rampant unemployment.

To date, Texas distillers have donated over 200,000 gallons of hand and surface sanitizer to first responders, health care workers, and their communities. The Katy-based MKT Distillery was recently featured in a New York Times article on coronavirus’ impact on the craft distilling industry.

“While we address this public health crisis and protect Texas families from the ongoing threat posed by COVID-19, we must also recognize the economic devastation that has impacted families and small businesses in our state. I am proud to join 35 of my House colleagues in calling for this practical step to give these Texas small businesses an opportunity to stay in business," she said.

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