Texas legislators look to give voters final decision on Daylight Saving Time
Texas lawmakers have introduced two bills to the state Senate that would allow Texans to vote on whether to keep or eliminate Daylight Saving Time.
Texas Sen. Paul Bettencourt, a Republican, filed both Senate Bill 2329 and Senate Joint Resolution 86 on March 10.
The bill reads that, if approved, "this state shall observe daylight saving time year-round. This subsection applies to both the portion of this state using Central Standard Time as the official standard time and the portion of this state using mountain standard time as the official standard time."
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If the act is approved by the state Senate, the decision to abolish Daylight Saving Time would be put into the hands of Texas voters on Nov. 7, 2023.
Companion bills authored by state Rep. Mike Schofield were also introduced.
Neither Schofield nor Bettencourt could be reached for comment on Sunday.
FOX 26 in Houston reported that Bettencourt spoke on the importance and timeliness of the bill.
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"When you think of hot-button public policy issues, what usually comes to mind are things such as property tax relief and school finance and pension reform. However, the issue of Daylight Saving Time has roused passions on both sides of the debate for over 100 years," Bettencourt said. "Texans like me want to be on one time, and the federal government doesn’t give us the option to vote to remain on standard time. SJR 86 gives Texans the opportunity to vote on the issue and settle the debate once and for all in the Lone Star State."
In March 2022, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the Sunshine Protection Act, which was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. The act would have ended the practice of springing the clocks forward in the spring and falling back an hour in the fall.
Although the bill passed the Senate, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., never put the legislation up for a vote.
Earlier this month, Rubio reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act.
"This ritual of changing time twice a year is stupid," he said in a press release. "Locking the clock has overwhelming bipartisan and popular support. This Congress, I hope that we can finally get this done."