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NM weighs exemption from daylight saving time

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A planetary geologist sets her watch to Mars Local Solar Time during the Mars InSight Landing Party at The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science last year. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE — New Mexicans would no longer “spring forward” each March under legislation heading to the House floor.

Instead, New Mexico would join most of Arizona and stick with Mountain Standard Time all year long.

That means that, for almost eight months of the year, New Mexico would share the same time as California and other states in the Pacific time zone. New Mexico would also be two hours different from Texas — rather than just one hour — during those months.

Generally speaking, there would be an extra hour of light in the morning rather than the evening if New Mexico exempts itself from daylight saving.

Supporters of the bill said they hate changing their clocks twice a year — because it’s hard on people’s health and sleep patterns.

Rep. Roberto “Bobby” Gonzales, a Taos Democrat and retired educator, said the time change is particularly tough on children and can affect their performance at school.

House Bill 73, sponsored by Gonzales, cleared the Judiciary Committee on a 10-3 vote Monday and now heads to the House floor.

In the Senate, meanwhile, a separate proposal would put New Mexico on Mountain daylight time all year. That proposal is sponsored by Sen. Cliff Pirtle, R-Roswell.

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