A San Antonio state legislator wants to celebrate the centennial of Daylight Saving Time (DST) by getting rid of it.
There may be no need to “fall back” this fall if State Representative Lyle Larson (R) has his way. He’s filed HB 49, the Texas Loves Sunshine Act of 2019, to end DST in Texas.
Traditionally, school kids and adults alike learn to “spring forward” one hour in the spring then “fall back” one hour in the fall. If successful, Larson’s bill would exempt the State of Texas from federal law that established DST in 1918.
“One-hundred years later,” Larson recently wrote in a newsletter to his constituents, “we should acknowledge in today’s world, with the benefit of so many modern technological advancements, Daylight Saving Time has long outlasted it purpose and, as a result, is wildly unpopular with folks across the country.”
The representative quotes a poll conducted by Rasmussen Reports discovering 33 percent of American adults think DST is not worth the effort.
Congress enacted the law compelling Americans to switch clocks twice a year with “… the worthy goal of saving energy…” Larson wrote, “Since coal was the exclusive energy source at that time, ensuring Americans had more daylight working hours made sense, and DST actually did save energy.”
Our own state representative agrees with Larson and the Rasmussen poll.
“I can support Rep. Larson’s bill to end DST,” said State Rep. Dan Huberty, who represents the Lake Houston area. “Texas can continue Daylight Savings Time year-round or continue standard time year-round. My wife pointed out that she’d prefer year-round DST, but whatever the legislature approves is fine with me. As Rep. Larson says, the jolting process of adjusting to a new time twice each year frankly is outdated. It’s time to put an end to it.”
Lake Houston residents seem to agree with their state representative as well.
“We’re for DST all year,” said Connie and Darryal Chandler, owners of Minuteman Press in Humble. “Yes, we have the same amount of daylight no matter what we call it, but it’s better to have the daylight at the end of the day rather than early in the morning.”
Most of the United States observes Daylight Savings Time, except Arizona and Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.
Dr. John Theis lived in Arizona for five years and in Korea as well, and neither place change their clocks.
“I liked not having ‘saving time’ because it never really made sense,” said Theis, a political science professor at Lone Star College-Kingwood. “The downside in Arizona was that it often was confusing because states around us would change their clocks twice a year, but we didn’t. On the other hand, I wish we didn’t have it because I frankly don’t see any modern-day reason for it.”
Sam Schrade, owner of DNA Studios in Humble, agreed.
“My understanding is that DST was to help farmers back in the day have more daylight when it was time to pick their crops,” said Schrade. “I don’t see why we need to change our clocks based on that older business model, and, if you’ve ever had young kids, you know that time change is chaotic for the first couple of weeks.”
One well-known Lake Houston individual who asked to remain anonymous said what many Lake Houston residents believe.
“I don’t have an opinion on this one,” the individual said, “but, if you’d asked me 20 years ago when I had young kids and wanted them in bed early – I definitely had an opinion then!”
The “Texas Loves Sunshine Act” isn’t the only bill Larson has introduced this session. One would prevent future boating tragedies, another moves the date of the Texas primary election to make it the first in the country, and, like Huberty, Larson is working on the complicated issue of school finance and property tax reform.
Federal law requires states exempting themselves to be on standard time year-round, so Larson wants the federal government to amend that law allowing Texans to observe DST year-round.
“Research has shown … the risk of heart attack increases 10 percent in the days following springing forward, most likely caused by sleep deprivation and the interruption of biological rhythms … studies also indicate we are less productive, most likely to get sick, and just simply exhausted in the days following the time change,” he wrote. To share an opinion about DST, contact Larson at 512-463-0646 or house.texas.gov/members/member-page/?district=122.