DES MOINES, Iowa – Last week, the Iowa House State Government Committee voted 13 to 10 to approve a bill, HF 2105, that would establish Daylight Savings Time as the official time in Iowa throughout the year.
State Rep. Mike Sexton, R-Rockwell City, the bill’s sponsor, said this isn’t the first time he has offered this bill.
“So I ran this several years ago. And then all year when we don’t get it passed, all year long, I get emails from teachers and mothers and parents and just folks in general that think that it’s archaic that we keep changing our clocks twice a year,” he explained.
He claimed there were more workplace injuries at the start of Daylight Savings Time and that it has been linked to miscarriages in couples going through in vitro fertilization.
Sexton also notes different studies found an 11 percent increase in depression after the clocks change and an increase in male suicides in the days following the change in the spring and the fall.
“It takes some people ten weeks to get over the change in clocks,” he said.
“As I visited with people, people don’t want to be on Standard Time. They want to be on daylight savings time if we do this. So we have that extra hour of sunshine. Nineteen states have done this already. Three are on Standard Time. The federal government allows you to go to standard time and stay there. They do not allow you to go to daylight savings time and stay there. So what we will do is if we would pass this, we would join the other 19 states. And we would wait until the federal government decides that it’s okay for states to do that,” Sexton concluded.
State Rep. Bruce Hunter, D-Des Moines, said the bill would add clutter to the Iowa Code for something Congress is not likely to vote for anytime soon.
“At best, this is code clutter. At worst. It violates federal law,” he said. ” I don’t think we should have laws on the books in the state of Iowa that are contrary to federal law. If we’re serious about that, talk to our federal legislators and have them pass a law which would be a miracle. And then we can look at this bill.”
Sexton rebutted that passing the bill wouldn’t violate federal law. It would place Iowa on a list of states waiting for Congress to act.
“If we were going against federal code, we would enact this, and then we would just do it. And that’s not what this bill does. This bill says we’re going to wait until the federal government gives us the permission.