Tuesday, March 22, 2022

State House passes bill to send end of Daylight Savings Time to vote of the people

Daylight Savings Change Clears House

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, today convinced enough of his House colleagues to send to a vote of the people a proposal that could permanently end Daylight Savings Time in Oklahoma.

House Bill 3146 would ask Oklahomans to vote on a statutory amendment that if approved would lock the clock on Central Standard Time in Oklahoma and do away with the twice-yearly clock changes. The change would take effect Nov. 8 – the next time clocks are scheduled to fall back an hour.

"Regardless of how we manipulate the clock, we still have the same number of daylight hours available to us each day," West said. "This gives the people of Oklahoma the right to decide the time on the clock during which they are observed."

Daylight Savings Time, which states can currently opt in or out of, requires setting clocks forward an hour each spring and backward an hour each fall in an attempt to increase daylight during evening hours.

Other states, including nearby Arizona, have passed or are passing similar legislation.

West said people have operated for thousands of years using nature's clock – the sun. It's only been in the last 100 years or so that man has experimented with manipulating sunlight hours through Daylight Savings Time.

He explained that in 1973-74 Daylight Savings Time was made mandatory in the U.S., but people revolted against the practice during the winter months when the sun wasn't coming up until after 8 a.m. This affected children going to school and people going to work in the dark, creating a dangerous situation, forcing Congress to pull back on the mandate.

Other lawmakers pointed out negative effects of the clock changes, including an increase in heart attacks, strokes and other illnesses as well as an increase in automobile accidents and work-related injuries when clocks spring forward.  

West explained that right now a state can opt out of Daylight Savings Time but cannot opt out of Standard Time. If the state stays on Standard Time year round, it would get lighter earlier in the mornings and darker earlier in the afternoons and evenings.  

The clock now starts for the bill's passage in the Senate where Sen. Marty Quinn, R-Claremore, is the author.

Kevin West serves District 54 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. His district includes part of Moore in Cleveland and Oklahoma counties.


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