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Senate, House clash on time change

Sen. Cliff Pirtle, R-Roswell

SANTA FE — New Mexico’s two legislative chambers remain at odds over whether the state should “spring forward” or “fall back.”

The Senate on Thursday voted 25-17 in favor of a bill that would allow New Mexico to remain on daylight saving time all year long, if a federal law is passed allowing the change.

Earlier this week, however, the House passed a proposal to keep the state on Mountain standard time all year long. It isn’t contingent on changing federal law.

Each bill will now cross over to the other chamber. Neither proposal will reach Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham unless the House and Senate agree on the same legislation.

Opponents of both proposals have focused on the potential to complicate life in southern New Mexico, where it’s common for people to cross state lines on visits to El Paso or Lubbock, Texas, a state that participates in both standard and daylight saving time.

Sen. Cliff Pirtle, a Roswell Republican and sponsor of Senate Bill 226 to stick with daylight saving all year, said the time change twice a year already disrupts people’s lives and sleeping patterns.

“It may be a little different at first,” he said, “but we’re all intelligent people and will be able to make it work.”

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