Daylight saving time can become permanent in Oklahoma, but only as soon as lawmakers in Washington D.C. make the change federally.
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Daylight saving time can become permanent in Oklahoma, but only as soon as lawmakers in Washington D.C. make the change federally.
State Senator Blake Stephens, Republican from Tahlequah, filed a SB7, a “trigger law” that would go into effect once the Sunshine Protection Act was passed by Congress.
It was passed in the Senate, but there has not been a vote in the House.
Stephens said when winter rolls around, permanent daylight saving time would give kids that hour of sunlight in the evening instead of the morning.
“Our children get home from school, then they can play outside and be active,” said Stephens.
With the hour moving from the morning to the evening, the Senator said more Oklahomans would be willing to go out and be active in their communities.
“Our outdoor enthusiast, both our joggers and bicyclists, those that like to get out and hike, walk their dog, it gives them that last hour,” said Stephens.
Doctor Joanne Skaggs, from OU Health, said there is a problem with switching clocks twice a year.
“The biggest factor is the change in time, truly,” said Dr. Skaggs. “And it's not necessarily which time you’re changing to.”
She said doctors mostly believe that standard time, what we are on in the winter, is better for our bodies.
“The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has come out with the consensus statement in support of standard time,” said Skaggs. The explanation being that the time is better for our circadian rhythm.
Representative Kevin West, Republican from Moore and South OKC, has introduced legislation in the past that would make standard time permanent.
“I've actually ran a standard time bill three years, and the one last year to put it to a vote of the people,” said West.
House Bill 3147 was West’s bill. It would give Oklahomans the chance to vote on their preference.
Representative West supports standard time. He said its partly because the United States tried to run on daylight saving time in the 1970s, but many Americans complained.
“If we went to daylight saving time year-round, there would be times of the year where it's like 8:30, 8:45 in the morning before the sun comes up,” said West. “When you've got kids going to school or you're trying to get to work, that becomes a problem.”
And that was the problem for Americans in 1974.
The two-year experiment was signed into law by President Richard Nixon. At the time, over 75% of Americans supported the bill.
It was discontinued after only 10 months.
Dr. Skaggs said our bodies would adjust to any permanent time change.
For Stephens, that permanent change should be in support of the time that we have for eight months out of the year -- daylight saving time -- compared to standard time, which we have for only four months.
“If you lock in standard time, you're now affecting the calendar eight months, so it's not 50%,” said the senator from Tahlequah.