A couple of weeks ago, Del Rio News-Herald Publisher David Rupkalvis stole my annual thunder on Daylight Saving Time. Nevertheless, I want to talk about what it will take to stop the moaning twice a year as we are jerked back and forth from one waking hour to the next.
First, let me share Marilyn Vos Savant’s take on the subject in her “Ask Marilyn” column published in last week’s Parade Magazine, an extra carried by our own Del Rio News-Herald.
The question put to her by Gladys Grad of Sarasota, Florida:
“No one likes switching from daylight savings time (DST) to standard time (ST) in the fall. Why don’t we keep DST all year?”
“I’ll bet people dislike ‘falling back’ because they associate it with the coming winter and its colder, shorter days. Consider this: How would you like keeping ST all year but moving your daily schedules an hour earlier? (If you start work or school at 8:30 a.m., you would start at 7:30 a.m. instead.) Well, that’s the same as year-round DST! No wonder our schedules were originally set the way they are. With DST all year, our mornings would darken; that’s a big price to pay for pushing sunset only one hour later.”
Brilliant! Frankly, I was almost ready to give in to the “DST all year” solution myself. But it does not make sense. We’re in natural time as of today and our bodies know it. It’s that horrible jerk ahead in the spring that just has to stop.
But how can we do it? How can we stop the madness? The Federal Uniform Time Act of 1966 (over half a century ago) authorized each state to operate according to DST for part of the year, if the state so chose – six months ST, six months DST. In 1986, Congress added a month to DST, and then they added another three weeks to DST in 2006. Now, we only get 18 weeks of ST so that high noon naturally occurs at 12 p.m.
The Uniform Time Act authorizes only two choices for each state – ST year-round or the current ST/DST jerk-around. Interestingly, a state cannot choose to go DST year-round. Not possible, according to the law. So, if we want DST to end in Texas, we have only two routes.
One, we can get the Texas legislature to pass a law stating that Texas chooses to go ST year-round; 2021 is a legislative year, and one of the first bills to be read is usually just that. It gets closer to being passed each cycle.
Two, we can work on Congress and the Senate to repeal the offending sections of the Uniform Time Act of 1966. That would allow the whole nation to come to its senses like the states of Arizona and Hawaii have already done. Then, my favorite day would no longer be that “Fall Back” day because that jerky “Spring Forward” day would disappear, too.
Willie Braudaway strives to make life better as a librarian, genealogist, and member of various community organizations. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org