The big state hiring freeze hanging over Texas till the end of August is making some government departments work smarter. In an effort to save the state $200 million amid a budget shortfall, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced a halt to hiring across state government this year, with some exceptions (law enforcement, criminal justice, child protection and others), until the next fiscal year, which starts September 1. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) is one of those departments instructed not to hire new employees, which apparently is affecting 20 positions, including the beer and wine label approver, but that’s not stopping the TABC from improving.
According to this article on kwan.com (the Austin, Texas, NBC affiliate):
“Right now we have another person doing that job [label approver], but that person has multiple duties in addition to label approval right now,” said Christopher Porter, a TABC spokesman.
TABC says the average wait time for labels is about 40 days, and while they are down a person in that area, there is an upside.
“We are happy to say that within the last month or so, we have managed to reduce the average wait time for label approval by about five days and we are also looking at other ways to speed up that process internally and hopefully get that wait time reduced even further.”
Obviously, the TABC will need more help in the future, and the agency has applied for four waivers with the governor’s office to hire new folks, according to that same article. Right now, Texas-brewed beer is at an all-time high in demand, and the TABC seems to be working its ass off to keep the approval process chugging along. Back to the feature:
“It’s a tremendous amount of volume that we are working with, and again, that’s no excuse, we do want to get the wait down as best we can but we hope the brewers understand that we are working with thousands of brewers across the state,” Porter said.