Oklahoma Senator Proposes Legislation to End Daylight Saving Time

KTUL - November 8, 2023 5:54 am

Senator Blake "Cowboy" Stephens

As the clock ticks down to the biannual ritual of adjusting our clocks for daylight saving time, Oklahoma State Senator Blake Stephens is on a mission to end the tradition once and for all.

Stephens discussed his legislative efforts with NewsChannel 8, aimed at halting the time change cycle in the state, emphasizing the impact it has on citizens’ lives.

“Daylight saving time affects your calendar for 127 days,” Stephens remarked, underlining the significant duration of this time adjustment.

Stephens proposed bill, SB 1200, seeks to put an end to the state’s observance of these time changes, a move he believes “just makes sense.”

This isn’t the first time Stephens has taken on this issue. Last year, he introduced SB 7, which passed in the Senate but never progressed to the House. Undeterred, he’s gearing up to reintroduce the legislation in the upcoming session, optimistic about the bill’s prospects this time around.

However, the success of SB 1200 hinges on the passage of a federal law, the Sunshine Protection Act, currently facing stagnation in both the U.S. House and Senate. Stephens proposes that once this federal act moves forward, Oklahoma would trigger the enforcement of SB 1200, putting an end to Daylight Saving Time in the state.

“There are so many benefits on locking the clock on daylight saving time,” said Stephens.

Stephens argued that halting the clock adjustments would not only benefit businesses and agriculture but also improve the overall health and well-being of Oklahomans.

Nic Dubriwny, a social worker and instructor at OU-Tulsa, affirmed that time changes can impact people.

We can feel fatigued or groggy or experience a change in appetite,” said Dubriwny.

Dubriwny recommended maintaining regular routines, especially regarding sleep, to mitigate the effects of the time changes.

Stephens said he hoped that advice wouldn’t be necessary for Oklahomans much longer but some issues, clearly, take a bit more time than others.

“It’s a long process,” said Stephens. “It’s a process that’s worthwhile on passing bills like this or any other bill. You should vet it out and make sure it’s at the best interest of all of the state and its citizens.”

The bill will be considered when the Legislature reconvenes in February.

You can read a news release on the bill below:

As Oklahomans prepare to turn their clocks back, Sen. Blake “Cowboy” Stephens filed legislation Friday continuing his efforts to “Lock the Clock” in Oklahoma in Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanently. Senate Bill 1200 would keep those in the state from having to change their clocks twice a year – an action the Tahlequah Republican said negatively impacts Oklahomans and needs to change.

“There are so many benefits to staying in Daylight Saving Time year-round,” Stephens said. “It would provide more daylight for commerce, exercise, and other outdoor activities, but we could also see less car accidents, crime, depression, and fewer heart attacks and other stress-related health incidents often attributed to the time change. I’m hopeful my legislative colleagues will listen to the majority of Oklahomans in support of this measure and help me get it to the governor’s desk.”

As a trigger law, SB 1200 would go into effect following the passage of the federal Sunshine Protection Act by Congress, which would allow states to permanently adopt DST or practice standard time. Nearly half of the states have already passed legislation to stop their clock, with 19 choosing DST. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), at least 29 other states have considered or are considering legislation related to DST.

The bill will be available for consideration when the Legislature convenes in February.


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