Updated: the House Agriculture Committee voted 5-8 (five Republicans in favor, 7 Democrats and one Republican opposed) to the Daylight Saving bill, based largely on ski industry arguments that they need that early morning hour of daylight to check chairlift operations and check slopes for avalanches.
As we gripe today about the switch to Daylight Saving Time, two lawmakers have seized the moment to again push a bill that would put an end in Colorado to the generally loathed ritual of falling back and springing forward.
Democratic Rep. Dan Pabon of Denver and Republican Rep. Phil Covarrubias of Brighton would have Colorado stay right where it is now, with the later dawns and longer afternoons of daylight savings. Daylight Saving Time would become our year-round standard time. The bill will be heard this afternoon in the House Agriculture, Livestock and Natural Resources Committee.
This is the second time the two lawmakers have tried to end the annual clock change this year. Earlier this session, they tried a bill that would put Colorado on Mountain Standard Time year round, but they received so much pushback from constituents that they asked that the bill be killed, so they could try again.
Covarrubias told The Colorado Independent at the time that constituents want that extra hour of daylight at the end of the day.
But making that change will not be easy. First, it has to pass and get the governor’s signature. Second, voters have to approve it in November. And if they do — and why wouldn’t they — then it still wouldn’t go into effect until “other states wholly or partially in the Mountain time zone also adopt permanent daylight saving time for the states or portions thereof within that time zone.”
Which means that if the bill stays as is, opting out of Daylight Saving Time may never happen here because we’d have to wait for “part of Idaho, part of Kansas, Montana, part of Nebraska, New Mexico, part of North Dakota, part of Oregon, part of South Dakota, and part of Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.”
Oh, and Arizona, too, but Arizona hasn’t participated in Daylight Saving Time since 1967, according to this clever story by KPNX. “Arizona participated for one summer. Then we realized what an awful idea it was to have more sunlight in the evening. Longer sunlight means more air conditioning and more energy used. And more misery.”
The bill may be popular with those who hate losing that hour of sleep every year, but it doesn’t sit well with Colorado’s ski industry, which wants to keep the extra hour of daylight in the morning for ski operations. The ski industry lobbied heavily against two other versions of the bill in 2011 and 2013, which led to the bills’ demise in those years.
Pabon and Covarrubias agreed to the language on making sure other Western states also made the change as a nod to the ski industry, which fears that skiers will compare Utah and Colorado ski areas and choose Utah because they would be open an hour longer early in the day.
Stay tuned. Or stay awake.
Cat yawning photo by Domenico Salvagnin, via Creative Commons license, Flickr
Woman yawning photo by Eaulive, via Creative Commons license, Flickr
Baby yawning photo by Jason Rust, via Creative Commons license, Flickr