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.