TX Lawmakers Want To Vote on Daylight Saving


A clock on a table | Image by JESHOOTS.com/Pexels

A constitutional amendment that would let Texans decide whether to observe daylight saving time is being proposed by state lawmakers in Texas.

SJR 86, introduced by state Sen. Paul Bettencourt, and HJR 22, introduced by state representative Rep. Mike Schofield, would place the issue on the ballot in November.

“Texans are tired of having to change their clocks and lose an hour’s sleep for no reason,” Schofield said, per the Texas State Senate. “People would like to get home from work and play with their kids without it being dark half the time. There’s no reason not to fix this.”

Daylight saving time first began in 1918 when President Woodrow Wilson enacted the Standard Time Bill. The bill would later be repealed just seven months later and reenacted by President Roosevelt during World War 2.

For the past 15 years, daylight saving time began on the second Sunday in March at 2 a.m. and lasted for eight months until clocks were then changed back to their original time. Bettencourt says daylight saving time has been a contested topic since the original bill was enacted over 100 years ago.

“When you think of hot-button public policy issues, what usually comes to mind are things such as property tax relief and school finance and pension reform. However, the issue of Daylight Saving Time has roused passions on both sides of the debate for over 100 years,” said Senator Bettencourt, per the Texas State Senate. “Texans like me want to be on one time, and the Federal Congress hasn’t given us the option to vote on Daylight Saving Time. SJR 86 gives Texans the opportunity to vote on the issue and express their opinion on the debate once and for all in the Lone Star State!”

The Sunshine Protection Act, which would have made daylight saving time permanent year-round, was passed by the US Senate last year, but the legislation died in the House. A bipartisan coalition of senators, including Florida Republican Marco Rubio, revived the bill this year.

Rubio says the majority of Americans don’t want to continue resetting their clocks to daylight saving time, and research shows that, among other advantages, DST may lower crime, child obesity, and seasonal sadness.

“The benefits of daylight saving time have also been accounted for in the research,” Rubio said, per the Dallas Morning News. “For example, reduced crime as there’s light later in the day. We’ve seen decreases in child obesity. A decrease in seasonal depression that many feel during standard time.”

Federal law does not currently allow individual states to make the switch to daylight time, meaning the reintroduction of The Sunshine Protection Act could allow states to make the switch.

“We can’t get to DST unless Congress actually passes the Rubio bill or something like it,” said Bettencourt, per the Dallas Morning News.

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9 days ago

A reason I always heard even back in the 60’s was that kids waiting for the school bus might be waiting when it was dark.