Testifying in Kansas, I think my seventh state already this year, but this Sunflower State wanted written testimony first, so I thought I’d just share it here, too...
Dear Chairman Barker, Vice Chair Arnberger, Ranking Member Ruiz, Rep. Francis, and members of the Federal and State Affairs Committee,
My name is Scott Yates from the neighboring state of Colorado. I’m the leader of the international movement known as #LockTheClock, otherwise known as a guy who blogs about Daylight Saving Time as a hobby.
I’m sorry I’m not there in person with you, though I did very much enjoy a visit with my son last week, and Rep. Francis was a gracious host.
I’ve been at it for seven years now, and I can tell you that this year the activity is off the charts. When I first started there was just me and a few other sleep-deprived people complaining on the internet. Now we have 15 states who have passed something to fix the barbarism of DST clock changing, and the dozens of bills introduced this year are flying through committees.
In previous years a couple of legislators reached out to me, but most of the bills didn’t go anywhere, and the general feeling was that nobody wanted to be the state that goes first.
Then the last couple of years a lot of legislators reached out, and a lot more bills passed.
This year something shifted and now we are to the point where states don’t want to be the last one to pass something.
Also, my inbox is packed nearly every day with notes from staffers of Representatives and Senators in D.C. A couple of years ago there was no traction, and this year there are at least three bills circulating and there’s a bit of a competition to see which will be the first to get a hearing.
One thing I heard loud and clear from bill sponsors jn Washington is that the absolute best way to get cosponsors of federal bills is for the sponsor to go to lawmakers from one of the 15 states that have passed something to fix DST. Your state, as made clear by your legislature, wants us to fix this. Will you join us? That was the pitch, and that pitch worked more often than it didn’t.
Which brings me to HCR 5008. Is this resolution a good idea? In my view, it is the perfect idea.
In other states there are a lot of arguments that come up around bills, and they are pointless arguments. The federal law simply doesn’t allow states to do what all those bills want to do, and that’s to lock into DST. The bills pass anyway, and essentially what happens is that they become like a resolution, a signal to Washington D.C. that a particular state is demanding action.
That’s why a resolution is perfect. It avoids the mechanics of a pointless law, and gets right to the heart of the matter.
One other short note about potential opposition to this resolution from those who think that Kansans should opt for permanent Standard Time:
If your constituents wanted that, you probably would have heard that. If you haven’t heard that, then that’s probably instructive. The science is decidedly mixed. Some sleep researchers say that permanent Standard Time is better for sleep while others say it is negligible. Other research in the fields of adolescent exercise, mental health, traffic safety, crime and workplace productivity say that Permanent DST would be better. The one thing they all agree on, and why this resolution is such a good idea, is that it helps with what all science agrees on: that the twice-yearly clock changes—especially the one in the Spring—are deadly. The research on that is unassailable.
That said, I am working with the U.S. Congress to ensure that if in the future you decide that you want to switch from permanent Daylight Time to permanent Standard Time, you will be able to do that with as little hassle as possible.
In the meantime, this resolution is another step along the road to end the historical anachronism that is the “Spring Forward” time change, and will make it easier for everyone to get to church on time, even on the time change weekends.
With that, thanks again for your time, and I am happy to answer any questions that you might have.
p.s.: I got a couple of good questions, and all of them are basically answered on the Research Page. Also, thanks again to Rep. Francis for bringing up this issue.