Bill Would Make DST Year-Round
Some people are tired of springing forward and falling back. Wednesday the House State Affairs Committee endorsed a bill that would put South Dakota on Daylight Savings Time all the time.
HB1085 originally asked that South Dakota opt out of Daylight Savings Time and always use Central Standard Time.
“We probably should be picking a time and sticking with it,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Lana Greenfield, R-Doland.
Greenfield noted that Daylight Savings Time was originally offered as a way to enhance nighttime activities, give farmers more time in the fields and save energy.
“We now have air conditioners that run 24 hours a day,” Greenfield said. “We’re really, as a people, not interested in saving energy anymore.”
Greenfield said that farmers have equipment to light up their work in the fields and one hour less wouldn’t affect most outdoor activities.
Speaking in favor of the bill, Rep. Skyller Borglum, R-Rapid City, warned that changing the time twice a year leads to poor work and driving habits and increased heart attacks.
Opposing the bill was Mike Shaw, representing the Motion Picture Association of America. Shaw explained that the association includes all the major motion picture studios which own the major television networks.
“Doing this would put our residents in South Dakota out of step,” Shaw said. Television programs would “likely air one hour later than our residents have come to expect.”
Changing viewers’ habits would have an effect on advertising revenues for South Dakota television stations, Shaw said.
Greenfield countered by saying that the outdoor theater in Redfield would probably get more customers if the sun went down an hour earlier in the summer.
Rep. Michael Diedrich, RRapid City, said the unheard voice in the discussion about the bill was the hospitality industry in West River where the change to full-time Central Standard Time would have an economic impact.
People who take part in mountain biking, hiking and fishing enjoy that extra hour of daylight, Diedrich said.
Rep. Kevin Jensen, RCanton, said Daylight Savings Time gives children more time to be outdoors.
“I really want kids to be outside and enjoying life,” Jensen said.
Rep. Drew Dennert, RAberdeen, offered an amendment that changed the bill to offer full-time Daylight Savings Time in South Dakota. The amended bill passed through the committee on an 8-5 vote and now goes to the full House.