AUSTIN, Texas — A bill that prohibits cities from putting restrictions on restaurants that want to let customers bring their four-legged friends on patios in Texas signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott.

Senate Bill 476 was signed into law by Gov. Abbott on June 4 and will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2019.

"There's not much that beats enjoying a beautiful Texas day on a patio with friends and family, man's best friend included," said Senator Kelly Hancock. "This bill simply leaves it to restaurants to decide if they want to welcome dogs in outdoor areas and gets excessive government regulation out of the way."

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Hancock said this bill is important because certain cities have enacted restrictions on restaurants that allow dogs including dog variance applications, periodic fees, extra inspections and burdensome rules and regulations.

A restaurant still has full discretion on whether it wants to allow dogs or not and dogs are still not allowed to go inside the restaurant.

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