Lawmaker wants Daylight Saving Time to be Iowa’s year-round standard

DES MOINES — Daylight Saving Time — forever. That’s the idea behind a bill State Representative Mike Sexton of Rockwell City is sponsoring.

“People are just tired of changing their clocks and the effect it has on their children, their lives,” Sexton says. “When you visit with people, it really disrupts their life, especially the ‘spring ahead,’ when you lose an hour.”

Humans used to measure time by the position of the sun. In the late 1700s, the British introduced the concept of “Standard Time” — so time would be uniform throughout a region. The concept was adopted in America about a century later. Daylight Saving Time was introduced in the U.S. and many European countries during World War I, to conserve the fuel used to make electricity. The extra hour of sunlight at the end of the day in the springtime and summer helped farmers, but caused problems in the other seasons.

“A lot of farms didn’t have electricity and so doing chores and taking care of livestock, the more light you had, the better it was. That’s why you had all these windows in barns,” Sexton said. “Now, our tractors with GPS…I tell folks with one my tractors, I could shut the lights off and it would just go down through the field better than I could steer it.”

Sexton says the majority of people who’ve talked to him about this issue prefer to stay on Daylight Saving Time, to get that extra hour of sunlight in the summer.

“That’s what people want,” Sexton says. “They get off work and they have that extra hour to go to ballgames and do stuff during the summer.”

Sexton tried, but failed to advance his idea through the 2019 Iowa legislature. He plans to try again this year after the state of Washington was successful in getting a federal waiver and making the move to year-round Daylight Saving Time.

A bill that’s been introduced in the Iowa Senate would make Central Standard Time year-round in the State of Iowa.