Senate File 2077 is really just a matter of time.
The bill, which advanced out of Wednesday’s Iowa Senate subcommittee, would establish daylight saving time as the official time in Iowa throughout the year.
“We’ve had a lot of conversations,” said Sen. Brad Zaun (R-Urbandale). “Really, we’re here to listen.”
Brad Epperly of the Iowa Broadcaster Association said the group if against the bill simply out of a desire for uniformity.
“To be clear, broadcasters don’t care what time standard a state is on,” he said. “Just that they’re all on the same time standard. This is a big deal for them across the country.”
Issues pop up with the broadcasters due to national programming and local news. Epperly said that Mason City’s local news station is owned by a Minnesota company. He questioned how cross-border connections would deal with the potential time variance.
Perhaps, he said, the legislature could put triggers in place to adjust the standard if a certain number of neighboring states do the same.
Craig Patterson, a constituent, said hew grew up in Arizona and he supports getting rid of the time change.
“In Arizona, basically what happens is when I call my parents, they’re in Pacific Time sometimes, and in Mountain Time,” he said. “People transition.”
As for waiting for the federal government to act, Patterson expressed doubt that would happen.
“Who is going to make the first step,” he asked.
Sen. Tony Bisignano (D-Des Moines) said people will figure out the timing situation of sports broadcasting. He said he prefers longer days.
“It’s nice to get off work and not be in the dark,” he said. “I can understand states being different, but this could be something Iowa could be first instead of last, and I would support it.”
Zaun said a constituent reached out to him in the fall when the clocks were set back an hour, saying the process is a hassle. He explained that an energy crisis years ago initiated the change.
“Personally, for me, it’s a pain when we’ve got to switch,” Zaun said. “And, I like light. I think a lot of people like light. It’s just a conversation to have.”
Sen. Jason Schultz (R-Schleswig) said his constituents tell him they don’t care what he has to do, they just want it light at night.
“I don’t expect this to move to the governor, but at the same time, unless you take a really bold stand, you can’t force everybody to have an opinion,” Schultz said. “Moving forward is what I want to do. I just want to have (the conversation) die here.”
All three senators agreed to move the bill forward out of subcommittee.