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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Time change is a hot political topic these days. There is currently legislation in Washington that would make Daylight Saving Time permanent, but now, Oklahoma legislators are trying to pass their own laws to try to put the great standard versus daylight savings debate to bed for good.

It’s a fairly complicated scenario. For clarification, Standard Time is more light in the morning. Daylight Saving is more light in the evening. Today a bill passed through the Oklahoma House floor that would give Oklahomans a choice on how they want to set their watches.

“Everybody hates changing the clock. This is the way that we can lock the clock,” said Rep. Kevin West. The Republican from Moore has a bill that could stop that for good. HB 3146 would put to the people a vote on how they want their time kept.

In recent years, 18 states have enacted legislation or passed resolutions to remain on daylight saving time year-round.

The catch is Congress will allow such a change if surrounding states enact the same legislation. Federal law does not currently allow state’s to go full-time with DST and would have to act before states could adopt those changes.

Congress doesn’t have to approve a move if states choose to remain on standard time.

Photo goes with story
The Oklahoma State Capitol at dusk.

Arizona and Hawaii and some U.S. territories have chosen to remain on standard time so they will not set the clocks forward this coming weekend.

If West’s bill ends up being signed by the Governor, there would be a statewide vote in November. Oklahomans could vote to make Standard Time permanent or go with the federal default. Right now the federal default is switching back and forth in the spring and fall. But if Washington passes the “Sunshine Protection Act,” permanent daylight savings would be the other option.

“I actually prefer the standard time,” said West.

West said health and safety issues are concerns when switching back and forth or using permanent Daylight Saving Time.

“I think folks in my district would prefer for it to be lighter later,” said Rep. Forrest Bennett.

The bill passed on Tuesday, but not along party lines, 53-37.

Now to convolute things further, the Oklahoma Senate is drafting a bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent in Oklahoma without a vote of the people. The State would have to petition the federal government to do that if new federal legislation is not passed.

“I think we should push pause on one or the other and see what happens with this federal effort,” said Bennett.

News 4 talked to both school and farmer rancher groups. All said they don’t have a stance on the issue.

This bill will now go to the State Senate side to go through the process.