OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) — The end of Daylight Saving Time is approaching quickly.
But one Oklahoma lawmaker is hoping to make Daylight Saving Time the permanent time year-round in Oklahoma.
“I’m trying to move the clock where it makes the most sense,” said Sen. Blake Stephens, (R) Tahlequah.
Stephens is hoping to freeze the clocks in Oklahoma by making Daylight Saving Time permanent.
“It’s gonna be a fantastic deal for Oklahoma. It’s gonna improve our quality of life,” Stephens said.
Stephens held an interim study at the Oklahoma Capitol on Tuesday morning to discuss the benefits of having extra daylight hours at the end of the day, rather than at the start.
He argues it could improve mental health, physical health, and even the economy.
“As farmers and ranchers, that extra hour in the evening is paramount,” Stephens said. “We’re talking about our health. Vitamin D is in the sun in a natural form… There is such a thing as seasonal depression and that’s real.”
Permanent Daylight Saving Time is not currently allowed by federal law, but there is a bill working to change that.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s Sunshine Protection Act was even cosponsored by Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford.
That bill would need to pass before Oklahoma can enact Daylight Saving Time permanently.
“There’s already 18 other states that have passed this legislation that I’m working on or similar legislation that locks the clock on Daylight Saving Time since 2018,” Stephens said.
But there were some concerns in the study, like what it would mean if Oklahoma’s surrounding states opted out?
Meaning 6-months out of the year, Oklahoma City and Dallas could be at different times.
“I’m really concerned more about Texas and Dallas in particular. If we are not in sync with Dallas, that hurts us on so many different levels,” one person said.
“I think it’s just a matter of preference on if you want more daylight in the morning or in the evening and often time we have producers say they prefer those hours in the evening,” said Jan Lee Rowlett, Deputy Commission Department of Agriculture.
Federally, the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 is currently in subcommittee.