Oklahoma legislators discuss statewide abolition of daylight saving time

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla — Quick facts:

  • Legislators are considering a bill doing away with daylight saving time in Oklahoma.
  • Proponents of the bill say it would be good for Oklahomans.
  • Opponents said it would be bad for business.

Legislators are considering a statewide proposal to exempt Oklahoma from the federal observance of daylight saving time.

House Bill 2557 by Rep. Harold Wright, R-Weatherford, received a “do pass” recommendation in a 4-3 vote Wednesday by the House Committee on State and Federal Relations.

If daylight savings time were repealed in Oklahoma, clocks would “stay the way they are right now instead of ‘springing forward,’” Russ explained. “We’re trying to be consistent. Dusk in the summer would arrive about 8:00-8:30 p.m. instead of 9:00-9:30 p.m.,” he said.

However, “We’d see daybreak about 4 a.m.,” said Rep. Mark Lepak, R-Claremore. “We would be out of step, or out of time, with most of the rest of the country,” he said. “Oklahoma companies might encounter problems in their dealings with businesses in other states and foreign nations, because of time conflicts,” he suggested.

Daylight saving time is the practice of setting clocks forward by one hour during the warmer part of the year, so that evenings have more daylight and mornings have less.

“We’d get the same amount of daylight,” said Rep. Ken Walker, R-Tulsa.

But Rep. Sally Kern argued that, “Some people would prefer to have daylight in the evening” rather than in the morning. “Thousands of people play golf after work,” she asserted. “I think this would have a huge economic impact on golf courses and other businesses, and would impact a lot of people,” said Kern, R-Oklahoma City.

Some also said that abandoning daylight savings time would also have an effect on farmers and children who ride buses to school.

Kouplen said he filed his bill because of several requests from constituents and for medical reasons. He said research has shown an increase in heart attacks and traffic accidents in the days immediately after clocks are pushed forward one hour each spring. Advancing the clock forward for daylight savings time results in the loss of an hour of sleep on the morning after the change, and it disrupts the body’s circadian (biological) rhythm.