Press "Enter" to skip to content

House Nixes Year-Round Daylight Savings Time; Summer Hours Initiative Coming?

Get ready for an initiated measure to banish Standard Time and put South Dakota on Daylight Savings Time year-round! In his testimony on House Bill 1127 yesterday, Rep. Dan Kaiser (R-3/Aberdeen) told House State Affairs that he brought HB 1127 on behalf of a District 3 constituent who claims to have the network in place to bring an initiated measure on Daylight Savings Time to a public vote. Rep. Kaiser said his constituent claims that his proposal has lots of support around Aberdeen.

For his part, Rep. Kaiser told the committee that locking in Daylight Savings Time would keep that extra hour of daylight in the winter, giving us all more time after school and work to (these are Rep. Kaiser's examples) make snowmen and snow angels and hunt for pheasants. He also cited, without attribution, statistics that he said a "gentleman" provided him (meaning the stats were at least polite, if not proven) that making Daylight Savings Time permanent would save an individual 41 cents a day or $149 a year (which makes no sense, because the change proposed by HB 1127 would only affect 125 days, meaning an increase in annual savings of just $51.25... but we'll save that math for when we see the petitions).

Committee chairman Rep. Brian Gosch (R-32/Rapid City) did catch the language mix-up that I noted in my coverage of HB 1127 last week. Rep. Gosch recommended and the committee approved an amendment to clarify the intent to keep "summer hours" year round. But Rep. Gosch also rained on the time-change parade by pointing to the federal law (Title 15, Section 260a) that says states can opt out of Daylight Savings Time but can't opt into it year-round. Rep. Kaiser gently raised his libertarian hackles and asked rhetorically, "[I]s it the states that make the federal government or the other way around?"

House State Affairs chose not to tease that bear and killed HB 1127 yesterday. The Summer Hours Forever/I-♥-DST initiative drive should thus be launching any day now. I'll be watching for the petition at the crackerbarrels and the Brown County Fair.

Related Reading: Utah legislators killed a similar Daylight Savings Time proposal yesterday. One legislator said that the U.S. tried year-round summer hours in 1974, only to see more kids get killed in early-morning accidents on the way to school. Be ready to shout "Baby-killers!" at the Brown County DST petitioners.


  1. mike from iowa 2015.02.05

    The discrepancy in money saved is because South Dakota has a high quality of living,lowest teacher pay and no income tax. That would necessarily inflate savings on electric bills.

  2. Neal 2015.02.05

    Just daylight SAVING. Not savings.

  3. Troy 2015.02.05

    Another threat of "If I don't get my way, I'm going to the ballot."

    This is getting serious. Before long we'll have 20 issues on the ballot and what passes will be determined by ballot position. Like California, after the first few, people just start voting no.

  4. Joseph.Voigt 2015.02.05

    As someone who loves the sun-light it would help South Dakota, I wouldn't mind to have the sun out to 6-630 compared to the dreaded its 515 and dark outside moment for those 2 months in the winter.

    However for someone who has driven is fair share in the dark, nothing is worse then driving in the dark in the morning. Also nothing is worse then getting up when its still dark.

  5. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.05

    20 issues? Troy, 105 legislators will get through 433 bills and 36 resolutions in a two-month session. What makes you think voters can't get through 4% as many ballot measures in a full year of study? Don't fear democracy; embrace it! Use it!

  6. Troy 2015.02.05

    I don't fear democracy (Direct or Republican). Just remember when your favorite idea draws bottom placement and goes down because people start voting no, I don't want you to whine. :)

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.05

    Troy, I will accept the potential peril of bottom placement on a gargantuan 20-issue ballot. And hey, who around here has a record of whining about ballot measure outcomes and voter performance?

    But recall, on our 2014 ballot, there was no sign of voters getting tired as they moved down the ballot. Are there studies from other elections showing a discernible "No" trend on multiple-measure ballots?

  8. David Newquist 2015.02.05

    When a legislature does not acknowledgt or reflect the will of the people, the people will seek redress. The argument the people are too unruly and ignorant to govern themselves is the oldest argument against democracy or any of its forms. It is clear that many people who revel in and defend the one-party rule in South Dakota regard legislators and other officials as masters, not servants of the people.

  9. Troy 2015.02.05

    A few years ago, don't remember where but I read an article was about how California (both parties) were trying to get a handle on the large quantity of ballot measures and on the poor quality (not the issue but the drafting- Think the above amendment/clarificaiton of summer hours).

    This is really fuzzy so I'm sure some of this is off. On quality, they were contemplating giving AG power to say "red flag" on bad drafting or give a committee of the legislature the ability to draft technical changes or require initiative to be submitted for what we call in SD "style and form" before they go get signatures. I have no idea if they did anything or not.

    All I remember real well is formation of "I hope we don't let this happen here." I wish now I'd have paid better attention. if you look for it, I want to guess it was maybe five years ago which usually means it was longer ago than that.

  10. Joan Brown 2015.02.05

    I would just as soon have Daylight Savings Time all year, mainly because I don't like having to change the clocks, but I like having the long hours of light in the summer.

  11. larry kurtz 2015.02.05

    Low-information voters have stacked a red state legislature with low-information lawmakers passing high-impact law: little wonder voters resort to whatever democratic blunt-force weapon to rebel against the tyranny of the majority.

  12. mike from iowa 2015.02.05

    This article about initiatives in California shows 730 were passed around for signatures between 1990 and 2000. 73 per year would make me want to skip or just vote no every year.

  13. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.02.05

    That's a great line Larry.

    "Low-information voters have stacked a red state legislature with low-information lawmakers passing high-impact law."

  14. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.02.05

    Troy, on poor quality: indeed, HB 1127 needed a rewrite. LRC had better take a close look at whatever this alleged Aberdeen agitator proposes to make sure the wording is correct.

    Of course, we don't need to raise the signature count to ensure good wording. Our system of submission to LRC and the AG can catch most if not all wording problems.

  15. Moses 2015.02.05

    Republicans afraid to pass bill.

  16. Donald Pay 2015.02.05


    There are certain cliches used by people frustrated by the system in Pierre. Be thankful that the cliche used in South Dakota is "If I don't get my way, I'm going to the ballot." It shows a commitment to civil and constitutional participation in government, rather a violent or nihilistic outlook. The fact is South Dakota doesn't have a long ballot of initiated measures. Most of the measures are put on by the Legislature.

  17. leslie 2015.02.06

    the right fears I/R like we fear ALEC, Koch, religion in the legislature, ect

  18. Troy 2015.02.06

    Fair point Don. But, like all good things, overuse can become abuse.

    I am actually pro-initiative. My only concern is to find the right balance, which is subjective I know. So far, I think neither side is giving me reason to think we have it. In fact, they confirm we are out of balance and their arguments aren't helping me discern what is the right balance.

  19. larry kurtz 2015.02.06

    Thanks, Deb.

    Women should be forced to wait 72 hours and attend sessions at state-sanctioned Initiative Counseling Centers before their ballot measures are approved.

  20. Les 2015.02.06

    """In fact, they confirm we are out of balance and their arguments aren't helping me discern what is the right balance."""That would be the statement of the day, Troy.

    I'm guessing you have all done your part on lobbying the few on the Senate committee hearing the Brown
    Bill this morning!

Comments are closed.