TABC Sting Operation Looks To Nab Retailers Selling To Minors

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelAugust 15, 2017 2:20 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Tens of thousands of college and university students are heading back to campuses across Texas this month. That means one thing: It’s time for another round of Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission undercover operations.

The state agency announced that there will be a series of stings in August and September to determine which retailers sell to minors. The TABC will actually be sending minors to businesses near colleges to attempt to buy alcoholic beverages.

One could imagine it might look a little bit like the scene in the 2007 movie “Superbad” where the teenager McLovin tried to buy drinks for a high school party at a convenience store:

“I love that stuff, been drinking it for years,” he tells the clerk. “Ya know, I heard they recently decided to add more hops to it.”

McLovin did indeed get his booze after being carded, but it turns out that most underage students don’t share his success. During back-to-school operations last year, TABC says more than 90 percent of businesses refused to sell to minors.

The Texas Senate approved a bill that would pump some additional state money into Texas school districts over the next two years. But state senators want to spend a lot less money on schools than members of the Texas House.

Texas Public Radio’s Ryan Poppe explains where the two chambers stand on funding in the final days of the special legislative session:

The original House school finance bill provided Texas schools more than $1.8 billion in state funds, but Houston-area Republican State Sen. Larry Taylor, the bill’s sponsor, thought that amount wasn’t realistic during a special session. He introduced a plan that provides $311 million in state funding that benefits most Texas schools.

“The $1.8 billion that originally came out of the House, that really was an unrealistic number, based on we’ve already done our budget, we’ve already moved forward for this biennium,” Taylor said.

The Senate approved the bill on a vote of 25 to 6. It soon heads to a joint House-Senate conference committee to reconcile the differences between the two bills.

While Taylor’s bill does provide some additional state funding, he made it a point that it does not attempt to adjust the actual formulas that fund public schools. Taylor pressed, that matter should be worked out by a state-appointed school finance commission.

House members approved legislation on Monday that sets up a school finance commission, which was one of 20 items on the governor’s special session agenda.

State regulators have told the aluminum-production company, the Alcoa Corporation, that it needs to cut down on its dust.

Residents in Point Comfort filed complaints earlier this year with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality because dusty red residue from the plant was coating their homes.

After visiting the site this spring, the state agency found that Alcoa had indeed committed an emissions violation.

The Victoria Advocate reports that TCEQ is now trying to order the company to stop the dust from blowing. Alcoa could also face a fine.