Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

daylight saving time

They’re coming for Daylight Saving Time

Mark me down as opposed.

Rep. Lyle Larson

A powerful House committee chief on Monday said he’s building support for a constitutional amendment that would stop twice-yearly clock changes.

Rep. Lyle Larson laid out his legislation that would commit the state to following Daylight Saving Time year-round or exempting the state from it, which would make Standard Time the year-round practice.

On Nov. 5, Texans would choose between the two options. The measure would be on the ballot in an off-year, low-turnout constitutional amendment election.

Larson said in an interview he expects the tourism industry, which mostly supports Daylight Saving Time, “might spend some money to educate folks.” Potential opponents include parent and teacher groups, which are concerned that Daylight Saving endangers children by making them wait in the dark for school buses, he said.

Larson’s constitutional amendment and enabling legislation received a hearing before the House State Affairs Committee. The panel didn’t take a vote. Larson, a San Antonio Republican who is head of the House Natural Resources Committee, said he will press for one next week.

“I haven’t heard of any opposition in [State Affairs] committee,” he said.

Martha S. Habluetzel of Ingleside, with the Campaign to Opt Out of Daylight Saving Time in Texas, testified the bill has a least two big defects.

“Congress hasn’t passed a bill to allow year-round Daylight Saving Time,” she noted. Under current federal law, a state only may opt for year-round Standard Time, she said.

Potentially, Larson’s amendment could lead to a bad outcome, Habluetzel said. On Monday, the sun rose at 7:25 a.m., she noted. On Christmas Day, if Texas somehow managed to get itself on year-round Daylight Saving Time, sunrise would be at 8:25 a.m., she said.

“I don’t want the sun coming up at 8:25,” she said.

There is also a joint resolution in the Senate to abolish Daylight Saving Time, which would also require a public vote to be enacted. I’m one of those people who goes to work at a stupidly early hour. It might be daylight when I arrive in the middle of summer, especially if we abandon DST, but otherwise it’s always dark for me in the morning. As such, I appreciate having as much daytime as possible when I get home, which is when it is best experienced. I hope this effort fails, but I fear that sooner or later someone is going to succeed at killing off the late summer sunsets that I so enjoy. Whatever you think, please note that it’s really not DST that you hate, it’s standard time. Please let us not attempt to fix that which is not broken.

It’s bill-filing season

Here are some highlights from Day One:

  • House Bill 49, by Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, would get rid of daylight saving time in Texas. Some lawmakers have tried to do this in past sessions.
  • House Bill 63, by Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, would make it a civil offense — not a crime — to be caught with less than one ounce of marijuana. Moody’s bill was one of several filed Monday aiming to loosen marijuana laws in Texas.
  • House Bill 84, also by Moody, would repeal the section of the Texas penal code that lists “homosexual conduct” as a crime. The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that the section is unenforceable, but it remains on the books.
  • House Bill 222, by Rep. Matt Krause, R-Fort Worth, would prohibit Texas cities from adopting or enforcing ordinances that would require employers to offer their employees paid sick leave. San Antonio and Austin have passed paid sick leave ordinances this year. Soon after Austin passed its ordinance, state Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin, announced that he would file legislation banning the ordinances, but Workman was defeated in Tuesday’s election.
  • House Joint Resolution 24, by Rep. Charlie Geren, R-Fort Worth, would propose a constitutional amendment requiring the state to fund at least half of the cost of funding public schools. If the amendment were approved by voters, local property tax collections would not apply to the state’s share.
  • Senate Bill 66, by Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, would reduce and eventually eliminate the state’s franchise tax.

My reaction, in order: Oppose, favor, favor, oppose, favor, neutral. It makes me happy that the pro-sick employees faction had to find a new lackey after their original sponsor got tossed. I’ll be following this stuff as usual as we morph into the legislative season.

Time to kill Daylight Saving Time?

At least one member of the House would like to do so.

I got to the office this morning just before 6 a.m. Or, as I called it two days ago, 5 a.m.

Enough’s enough. Isn’t that right, state Rep. Dan Flynn, Republican from Canton? “It is something that was a good idea at one point, but it has kind of past.” Kind of? Haven’t you heard? Daylight saving time is killing us.

That was Flynn talking about daylight saving time back in November, when he first filed HB 150, which aims to adios the springing forward and the falling back. Flynn hopes to make that happen by Sept. 1.

Maybe it has a fighting chance: Last month the bill was sent to the House’s Government Transparency & Operation Committee, which has put it at the top of its to-discuss list this Wednesday. And thanks to this Facebook campaign, the comments are piling up. Shocking: There aren’t many in favor of keeping daylight saving time.

I guess I need to go register my feedback for today’s committee hearing, because I do like Daylight Saving Time. I like having more daytime during the after school/after work hours, when it’s actually useful. I’m not sure why anyone wants the sun to come up before 6 AM during the summer, but maybe that’s just me. I admit, I get a bit off kilter for the first few days after the changeover, and I admit that current research shows that DST does not deliver on its promised benefits. I still like it. Go ahead, sue me. Far as I can tell from my archives, this subject has not come up in previous Legislatures, at least not in a way that was notable enough for me to blog about it. We’ll see how far this effort gets. RG Ratcliffe, Trail Blazers, Unfair Park, and Texas Leftist have more.

I’m gonna save me some daylight

I just want to say that I love daylight saving time. I love having more sunlight hours after work, when we can all use them. Double daylight saving time might be a bit much for me, but if we kept this schedule year-round it would be fine by me. I don’t mind dark mornings – as someone who was out of the house a little after 6 AM every day to go to high school and whose work day started at 6:30 for many years, I’m used to dark mornings. It’s dark afternoons and dinnertimes that get to me.

Show of hands: Who’s with me on this, and who’s on the other side? Leave a comment and let me know.