Council update, 12/11

The Houston City Council took no major action this week, as Councilmembers high and low tagged proposals to delay them for one week. Instead, the only updates we have are those that seek to prognosticate towards the future involving existing proposals, almost all of which were pushed back by the dilatory tactic.

First, KPRC is reporting on a proposal to relax the City’s alcohol sales ordinance, which bans any store from selling beer or wine within 1000 feet to a school or a church. Mayor Parker has now proposed easing the regulation to 300 feet, applying only to “larger grocery stores.” I have no idea what the cutoff between a small store and a large grocery store is, and I am in no small part concerned about the possibility that this is an olive branch to Wal-Mart and the like. That being said, perhaps I am just misreading all of it.

The proposal is meant to attract more grocery stores to low-income areas, where very small churches are often ubiquitously located in strip-malls alongside shopping centers. These low-income areas are often called Food Deserts for the scarcity of healthy eating and shopping options nearby. The Houston Chronicle recently cataloged these problems, citing efforts by the City to help alleviate the problems.

Click here to read about the Payday Lending ordinance and why it is in jeopardy!

Sunday whiskey

Senfronia Thompson has introduced yet another bill to eliminate the blue law on liquor stores being closed on Sunday. The Chronicle reports that the State Representatives seeks to allow these stores to sell hard liquor and spirits on the holy day, albeit after noon, similar to restrictions placed on beer & wines. The newspaper article discusses “$7.5 Million” in new revenues.

The astute will remember that, in my everlasting crusade towards unabashed secularism, I deplore blue laws and all that they stand for. If I could have my way, you could buy whatever type of alcohol you wanted, in any type of licensed establishment, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 (or 366) days a year. Alas, social conservatives still control the State, so that isn’t going to happen. I guess we’ll have to settle for this.