Gov. Perry signs bill allowing service dogs in more food stores, restaurants

Law takes effect Sept. 1

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SAN ANTONIO - People with service dogs will soon be allowed to have their animals inside more businesses, thanks to a new law.

Gov. Rick Perry signed into law a bill ensuring that restaurants and food stores must allow service dogs, including those for military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

House Bill 489 limits how much employees can ask disabled people about entering with dogs -- even those with PTSD, or other disorders that aren't visibly obvious.

It was sponsored by Rep. Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio).

The measure includes a fine for discriminating against a disabled person.

It won approval despite some concerns business owners could face criminal penalties for simply attempting to verify that service animals are actually being used to assist disabled people.

The law takes effect on September 1.

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