The great Daylight Saving Time debate is back on.
This year, Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, is trying to alleviate Oklahomans’ widely if perhaps not altogether intensely held disdain for jumping forward and falling back with House Bill 1660.
In its current form, HB 1660 would take Oklahoma out of daylight saving time, meaning the state would be on standard, or “winter,” time year around.
West advanced the bill from committee on Wednesday, putting it in line for possible consideration by the full House, probably next month.
West said he’s heard from a lot of Oklahomans who wish the state would pick one time or the other — standard or daylight saving — and stick to it. He said he chose Standard because it would be safer for school children and because states don’t need congressional approval to opt out of daylight saving time.
They do for year-round DST.
Several states have requested year-round daylight saving time, without success.
Only two states, Arizona and Hawaii, do not observe daylight saving time.
Oklahoma has observed some form of daylight saving time since 1967; the entire country was on year-round DST from 1973 to 1975.
West acknowledged that not everyone is thrilled with his bill. An obvious objection is that Oklahoma would be almost completely surrounded by states on what amounts to a different time zone half the year.
“I have committed to working with groups that have a concern about this,” he said.
Also Wednesday, the House continued shaking its fist at the federal government by advancing several measures aimed at the new Democratic administration.
These include HB 1236, which would require that presidential executive orders be reviewed by the state attorney general and approved by the Legislature before they could be in effect in the state. The bill lists Speaker Charles McCall as its author, but it was presented by Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore.
“Given that the 13th and 14th Amendments have supremacy clauses and the Supreme Court has a position on judicial review that goes back to Marbury v. Madison, why is this bill necessary?” asked Rep. John Waldron, D-Tulsa, a former high school social studies teacher. “We’ve already established the relationship of the federal government to the states.”
McBride said the Biden administration is issuing a lot of executive orders and has to be watched.
“I don’t know why anyone would object to reviewing these federal mandates that are coming down,” he said.
McBride also presented HB 2034, which would bar the state from doing business with any vendor that boycotts or divests itself of oil and gas investment. McBride indicated that these mainly would be financial institutions, and it is not clear what affect such a ban would have.
“To have some of these companies like some of your banks, some of your global asset managers, pension funds, things like that, divesting from oil and gas, I thought it would be good if we put a stop to that,” said McBride.
Featured video: Sledders take advantage of winter weather