Commentary: Santa Fe- “Sunday is the shortest day of the year…since we lose one hour between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. It is only 23 hours long,” said Senator Cliff Pirtle, the sponsor of the popular Daylight Saving time bill that passed the Senate and is moving through the House.
SB 239 passed the House Business and Industry committee Friday night 6-2, next stop is House Judiciary on its way to the Floor.
The bill in essence keeps New Mexico on Daylight Saving time year round, instead of changing the clock for four months as we currently do.
“Summertime all the time not only sounds great, it makes sense,” Senator Cliff Pirtle said. The Roswell State Senator is once again sponsoring a bill to avoid the unnecessary inconvenience of springing forward, falling back. His bill, SB 239 would keep New Mexico on Daylight Savings Time for 12 months, instead of the current eight. He said it does not make sense to change to Standard Time for only four months. Senator Pirtle said, “No one likes changing clocks twice a year, so let’s stop doing it.”
Senator Pirtle said ever since he sponsored his first bill to remain on daylight savings time throughout the year two sessions ago, there has been an outpouring of support from New Mexicans. He said changing our clocks- both physical and biological clocks- twice a year no longer makes sense. Plus, the change can be dangerous to your health.
“I have seen reports that show changing the time twice a year has an adverse affect on people’s health. When the time changes, people experience more mishaps, accidents and even more heart attacks,” Senator Pirtle said. “Sometimes, no change is good. To address the objection that school children might be going to school in the dark for a couple months of the year, Senator Pirtle said, “Leave the clocks alone and send the students to school one hour later,” Senator Pirtle said.
He said most New Mexicans don’t even know why the state changes its clocks and only know they don’t like it. He said he had to do research to find the original reasons behind the changing from Standard Time to Daylight Savings time was to save lamp oil and to help farmers and ranchers. “We in New Mexico like the longer hours of daylight in the afternoons and we don’t want to change back for only four months.” He said farmers and ranchers like Daylight Savings time and they work from sunup to sundown no matter what the clock says.
Senator Pirtle’s SB 239 would in essence keep New Mexico on what is Mountain Daylight Savings Time throughout the entire year. “Eight months are plenty of time to get used to a good idea,” Senator Pirtle said. The federal government allows states to exempt themselves from changing their clocks. Currently, Arizona and Hawaii as well as the territories of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa do not change their clocks.
Notes: The bill keeps state on Mountain Daylight Saving time as its year-round time zone. Officially, the bill calls for the state to adopt Mountain Daylight year round. The bill would require the governor to formally apply to the US Dept. of Transportation for the state to be transferred to the Central time zone. The state would then op out of Daylight Saving time in its new time zone in essence, keeping the state in Mt. Daylight Saving time. Federal law allows states to opt out of daylight saving time. Hawaii, Arizona opt out.