Oklahoma Lawmakers Working to Make Daylight Saving Time Year-Round
KOKH - March 14, 2023 6:41 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — Sunday marks the first day of daylight saving time in 2023, and some Oklahoma lawmakers are working to lock the clock on daylight saving time.
Senator Blake “Cowboy” Stephens-District 3, the author of senate bill 7, which would make Daylight Saving Time year-round, says the Federal Sunshine Protection Act would have to pass through congress before Oklahoma could adopt a permanent daylight savings time.
“We need Congress to pass the Sunshine Protection Act before we can actually enact this into law in the state of Oklahoma,” Stephens said, “Realistically, we’re probably looking at a year… after Congress passes this thing.”
SB 7 would lock the clock on daylight savings time, giving Oklahomans an extra hour of sunlight in the evenings.
“This is going to be a huge thing for agriculture…. this is a huge driver for our economy in tourism… it’s gonna be good as for outdoor enthusiast here in Oklahoma, that’s our joggers or bicyclists… crime actually goes down if we increase that hour in the evening,” said Stephens, “Oklahoma has spoken loudly, they want the clock to stop.”
Stephens says there are countless benefits to locking the clock on Daylight Saving Time, including some health benefits.
“It’s anytime and every time that we change the clock… people lose their lives,” he said, “I mean…there’s a spike in heart attacks, strokes, and fatal car accidents” Stephens said.
Doctors say that for the first two days after springing forward, heart attacks and strokes increase by 20%.
“It doesn’t appear to increase the overall rates but moving time, forward and backward, does appear to have an effect on the presentation of cardiovascular negative events,” said past President of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, Dr. George Monks.
Some argue to lock the clocks on standard time, but Senator Stephens thinks that is a bad idea.
“That really concerns me for a ton of reasons,” he said, “Because I see crime going up dramatically. Also, see our economy getting hammered in real serious ways. So along with our health and our mental health, so I’ve looked at this whole thing, six days to Sunday, and every time it comes back the same way, it would just be very beneficial for the state of Oklahoma to lock the clock on Central Daylight Time.”
SB 7 was passed in the Senate, and will now head to the House to be heard.