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Council bumps liquor vote; Without unanimous vote, council must vote on Sunday liquor sales at next meeting

The Austin City Council will have to wait two weeks to officially approve Sunday liquor sale hours to match the state.

The council voted 5-1 Monday with David Hagen voting no and Judy Enright abstaining to follow the state’s off-sale liquor hours of 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., which will begin July 1. However, the motion failed because a unanimous vote is required at a council meeting on first reading.

The motion will be bumped to the May 1 meeting, where it will need to pass on a simple majority.

A current city ordinance bans liquor sales on Sundays; however, the state bill allowing Sunday liquor sales passed last month.

Cities are not allowed to completely restrict Sunday sales under the new law, but the city could opt to reduce the hours for Sunday sales. However, City Clerk Ann Kasel noted the city has recently taken steps to keep city ordinances consistent with state laws.

Last year, the City Council voted to change the city ordinance to allow liquor stores to stay open until 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday to match the state.

Previously, liquor stores had been required to close at 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Kasel noted businesses that sell off-sale liquor can still set their own hours within the allowed time frames.