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My Two Cents of Common Sense
"Northwest Kansas holds some truly inspiring scenery, contains a wealth of Old West history, possesses some of the finest educational institutions, promotes an entrepreneurial spirit, and is home to some of the most hard-working, genuine people I've ever met!"    ~ Adam Smith
1970 RD 3 Weskan, KS 67762
785-821-2568 (Cell)
300 SW 10th St, Suite 512N Topeka, KS  66612
785-296-0715 (Office)
Daylight Saving Time

Well, here we are... another year and another bill to repeal Daylight Saving Time. I wrote an extensive newsletter article last year on the history and shared some statistics regarding energy inefficiency and traffic accidents. I won't repeat all that - you can read from the archives if you would like. I thought I'd put a little different spin on it this year, however. Seems I've unintentionally earned a reputation for my visuals after drawing and shading a cartogram of Kansas for the 2019 Gubernatorial election results.

Explaining time zone differences is much easier done visually, I believe, so let's give it a try...

Here is a simple map of Kansas and some of our closest neighbors and our respective time zones...
 5:00 p.m. MST                      6:00 p.m. CST 
What would this look like if Kansas abolished Daylight Saving, and no one else did?? Well, from November to March, it would look exactly the same as above. But then...
 5:00 p.m.          6:00 p.m.           7:00 p.m. 
It gets really ugly as all of our neighbors increase one hour and Kansas stays the same. The four renegade counties in western Kansas look a little strange, and I would venture a safe guess that my home county of Wallace, along with the other three, would make an effort to switch to Central Time. We may have to relinquish our "Mountain" time zone, even if we are home to our state's only mountain.

So what would it look like if some of our neighbors joined in? Colorado has proposed legislation, but just like Kansas, it hasn't passed yet. Let's go ahead and throw our neighbor to the east in, too. They have talked about it in the past, although I'm not sure they have a pending bill this year... yet.
 5:00 p.m.          6:00 p.m.           7:00 p.m. 
Well, this looks extremely similar to the very first map... as long as you don't look up or down. One significant problem with this map can be seen down in the bottom - left... notice a spot where the red and blue border each other? That's a two hour time difference!

So let's say ALL of our border states follow suit - that should take care of that pesky 53 mile border with a 2 hour time warp.
 5:00 p.m.          6:00 p.m.           7:00 p.m. 
Not too bad... Kansas and our immediate neighbors are looking halfway normal... until you zoom out and look at a map of the full United States! Colorado looks a little out of place... like it might be a little more cozy snuggled up with states of California, Oregon, and Washington. If only they had something in common. In retrospect, I guess I should have used green for my color scheme, would that have fit them better? Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Missouri don't look very comfortable either, protruding awkwardly eastward into the abyss of red. Time zone look a little more natural when the boundaries run north and south, and this map looks extremely unnatural.
So, I think it's safe to draw the conclusion that, for Kansas to do it, we need a multitude of states (if not ALL) to drop like dominoes from the Daylight Saving program. You want to save daylight? Try getting up a little earlier...

Speaking of that, do we understand what Daylight Saving time actually does? I thought about a graphic for that, too. Have you ever seen a sunrise/sunset chart for the entire year before? If not, here's your chance! First of all, let's look at the world we live in right now... Daylight Saving Time from March to November. Starting out with sunrise around 8:00 a.m. on January first here in Topeka (not much different for Central time in western Kansas, you'll see the days slowly getting longer until March 10. That's when we "spring forward, effectively resetting the sunrise back to 8:00 a.m. and putting it on at the end of the day. Instead of the sun setting at 19:00 (or 7 o'clock), you've got an extra hour to get it a few more holes of golf... if that's even appealing in mid March weather.

I apologize to those of you not fluent in military time format - I downloaded the data from the U.S. Naval Observatory and was too lazy to convert the time format.

Anyway, the day's keep getting longer, until they head back the other direction to the point where we put that hour back on the start of the day instead the tail end. Under Daylight Saving, the sunrise never occurs prior to about 6:00 a.m. and sunset is delayed sometimes past 9 p.m. in the mid-summer days.
Most people don't necessarily like standard or daylight saving... they just don't like to change. What would our chart look like without the notch down for daylight saving? Pretty good if you're an early bird that likes to get the worm! Sunrise would be around 5 a.m. in the deep of summer, but you might need that overhead light on if you're planning on shooting some hoops much past 8:00 p.m.
Personally, I like the idea of abolishing the daylight saving time. It eliminates the abrupt change twice a year which seems to take several days to adjust into a new routine. Sure, we won't have that extra hour of daylight in the summer evening that we probably enjoy from time to time, perhaps mowing the lawn will have to wait until tomorrow... shucks!

From the maps above, though, it is apparent that it may not be feasible unless there is a large, concerted effort between many, if not all, states. Many eastern Kansas residents, especially in the Kansas City area, are not accustomed to a time zone change in close proximity, and express their concern with working, schools, and other scheduling difficulties. The farmers and ranchers out west don't need daylight saving - never did. I've never known a single farmer that starts or ends their day's work outside based on the time on a clock rather than the sun on the horizon.

If you want to keep track of the bill, follow along here.
Weekly Wrap-up

There was quite a bit happening in the Capitol this week and I had the opportunity to see some familiar faces from back home.

On Monday, Mike Rogers from Saint Francis and Don Solko from Herndon were in Topeka on behalf of Prairieland Electric Cooperative. It was good to sit down and catch up with them on some of the good things and some of the challenges facing rural electric cooperatives these days.

I also got to visit with Zach Odell with S & T Communications out of Brewster on some telecom issues, including broadband access. We just got started on our broadband discussions in the Rural Revitalization committee this week, so I really enjoyed visiting with several northwest Kansas people from S & T and Nex-Tech.

Wednesday was focused on several areas of healthcare, and I had good discussions with Chrysanne Grund from Wallace County Family Practice, and Dereck Totten, from Citizen’s Medical Center in Colby. There are a lot of challenges these days in providing healthcare to our rural communities, but these two shared some great stories of a lot of things that we are doing right out in northwest Kansas to serve our people well.

It was also the Sunflower State Trails appreciation day on Thursday, and I was pleased to see Tom and Lea Keller from Saint Francis with a booth set up in the Capitol Rotunda and Tom even gave a presentation to the public in the Capitol about the Keller Pond and River Walk in Saint Francis.

Like I said, it was a busy week and there were a lot of people from northwest Kansas in Topeka. I probably missed some, but I do want to say if you are ever in Topeka, please call me or stop by to visit. Not matter how busy my schedule may be, I’ll always try to make time for anyone from northwest Kansas that has made the long trip to Topeka.

Just a few items of legislation I wanted to mention...

Farm Bureau has introduced a new bill regarding membership healthcare benefits, and Tim Franklin and his family from Goodland were here to testify in the Senate committee hearing in favor of that legislation. This is a proposal to offer a healthcare benefit program that could assist their members in obtaining healthcare that they otherwise may be unable to qualify for in the marketplace at an affordable price.

I was cosponsor on a resolution that is proposing an amendment to the Kansas constitution that aims to protect unborn children from the moment of conception. The Kansas Supreme court heard arguments in March of 2017 in an abortion lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a 2015 law, but nearly two years later the Supreme Court has still not issued a ruling. This amendment would clarify human rights extending to the protection of unborn children. Just a reminder - a constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives just to get placed on the ballot. The amendment is not adopted unless a majority of Kansas voters approve of the measure.

We’ve also got a bill to exempt Kansas from Daylight Saving time. If you would be interested in submitting written testimony for that bill, please contact me and I would be happy to assist you prepare your documents.

If there is legislation that you feel strongly about – either in favor or in opposition, I am here as a resource to you. I can help you prepare written testimony, make copies, help get it to the right office for distribution, and I can even help set you up to come testify if you want to speak at the committee hearing. I know it’s a long way from northwest Kansas, but your voices really do make an impact and make a difference!
Legislative Page Program

Do you know any young adults who may be interested in being a Legislative Page for a day? I am taking requests for the new session!

Here's some quick info:
  • You must apply - there are limited spots available.
  • Check in at 8:00 a.m. with the Page Coordinator.
  • Take a photo at 9:30 a.m. with the Governor (if available).
  • Observe the House Chamber as we gavel in and debate legislation.
  • Serve as an assistant to the Kansas House of Representatives, running small errands as necessary for myself and other legislators.Receive a $5.00 voucher for the snack bar.
  • Tour the Capitol, including the inspiring "Dome Tour", as your time allows.
You will receive a certificate of appreciation recognizing your service to the state!

Recommended for young adults at least 12 years of age through High School Seniors, the Legislative Page program offers a memorable experience in the Kansas Capitol. Learn how the state government process works by becoming a part of it for a day!

Each legislator is allowed a limited number of Page sponsorships per month on a first-come, first-serve basis. Be sure to get your requests in as soon as possible. If you have further questions, please contact me at 785-296-0715 or Adam.Smith@House.KS.Gov

Early Learning Resources from the State Library
BookFlix is an online resource from the State Library of Kansas for children in grades PreK-3 that pairs video storybooks with related nonfiction e-books. Imagine Curious George paired with a nonfiction book about monkeys. The read-along storybook highlights each word as it is read. This option can be turned off. Related games reinforce early learning reading skills. BookFlix requires Flash.
Britannica E-Stax (PreK-6) features nonfiction books that can be read online or downloaded to any Internet enabled device.
Both are available at no charge through the State Library’s web site . If the page above asks for a Kansas Library eCard number, you may get one at any library in Kansas.  Most people will be automatically recognized as being in Kansas and will not need this step. Adobe Flash is needed to view the animation and hear the narration.  Questions: or 785-296-3296.
I strive to create and maintain constituent relationships through good communication. Two-way communication is essential to my effectiveness as a legislator in promoting successful solutions for Northwest Kansas! Please consider subscribing to my contact list or send me an email and I will add you.
Copyright © 2019 Smith For Kansas, All rights reserved.

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