Texas Senate passes bill to allow dogs on restaurant patios

The Texas Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would prohibit cities from passing ordinances regulating restaurants that want to allow dogs in their outdoor eating areas.

Passed Texas legislation allows restaurants to decide if they want dogs on their patio.

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Senators took a page out of dog-friendly Austin’s book Tuesday by passing a bill to allow dogs on restaurant patios.

Senate Bill 476 prohibits cities from putting restrictions on restaurants that want to let customers bring their four-legged friends on the patio.

"Members, I'm not sure I have ever said this while presenting legislation on the Senate floor, but this bill does closely mirror current city ordinances here in Austin," Senator Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills), the author of the bill, said. "A good idea is a good idea."

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The bill states dogs still can't go inside food establishments and are only allowed on outdoor dining areas. And restaurants don't have to allow dogs on their patios. Instead, it's up to each business to decide what it wants to do.

The bill now goes to the House for consideration.

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