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.