This is the fifth legislative session that I’ve been paying attention to the Daylight Saving Time issue, and I can tell already that this one is going to be huge.
The quality and thoughtfulness of the bills is great, and the quantity seems much greater for the first couple weeks of January than I can ever remember.
To what do we owe this surge?
- The overwhelming victory in California was certainly part of it. The vote was technical, obtuse, and didn’t offer immediate relief from clock-changing madness, and still it passed with more than 60 percent of the vote. I give credit to the farmers and the housewives. ;-)
- Also perhaps is the moves the European Union is making to scrap what they call “Summer Time.”
- And it may have been Florida, which passed into law the notion that if the feds ever fix the national law, Florida would very much like to just move to permanent DST. One of the U.S. Senators from that state, wanting to catch up to the people he’s leading, immediately said that he would try to fix the federal law. So far all we’ve seen on that front is a press release, but at least that’s more than we had before!
(I’ve decided not to grumble too much that the research in the press release from Rubio’s office shares more than just a passing resemblance to the research page on my site. A thank you card might have been nice.)
Other than that, there’s no single thing. The notion that we should #LockTheClock is just catching on.
Legislation getting smarter
And legislators are getting smarter about how to pass bills. For instance, in Wyoming and Connecticut, legislators are proposing that they go to permanent Daylight Saving time (which, for reasons that have to do with the intractability of federal law, involve moving themselves one time zone to the east and then declaring themselves on Standard time year round.) But both of those bills say their state should do it only if neighboring states join in. That’s a solid idea that has been floated around the country before, and may help those bills get passed.
New Mexico had come very close to passing a really smart bill that would have done things properly, but that bill died an ignoble death. I saw it, it wasn’t pretty.
As a guy who’s been working this issue for a long time now, I have some institutional history. So one of the things I need to do is try to contact the sponsor of the new bill in New Mexico, a guy named Bobby Gonzales, and encourage him to talk to Cliff Pirtle. They are in opposite chambers and opposing parties, but if there ever was an issue that is nonpartisan, it’s this one.
(Yes, it will make you cynical, but one person really can thwart the will of the people, and in New Mexico that one person is Gail Chasey.)
Working together, we can make this work
If you are a legislator with a Daylight Saving Time bill, or if you are just thinking about one, drop me a line. I’m happy to talk to you privately, to come and testify, to do whatever it takes to help you.
Although there are not a lot of lobbyists working on this issue, there are a few that can crop up, especially from the golf industry. I can let you know what their interests are, and how you can work with them so they won’t fight you, and instead work to help you.
If you are a citizen, why not contact your local legislator? They always love hearing from real constituents. Well, almost always. They for sure will like it on this issue.
If you do that, and get a good response, let me know about it and I’ll highlight it on this blog.
If you happen to live in a state that has a bill on DST working this year (you can find them here) then for sure contact your own legislators AND the sponsors, and tell them how glad you are they are working on a bill to fix this.
And one word of advice: Let’s say the bill in your state is to move the state permanently to standard time, and not daylight time as you’d prefer. I say that you should still support that bill because if we can make ANY change, we can show that change can happen. Let’s get the ball rolling on change first, and then get it exactly right after that.
Thanks for joining me on this journey!