By Rocío Hernández
The Nevada Legislature is looking over 444 assembly bills and 455 senate bills along with a number of assembly joint resolutions, assembly concurrent resolutions, assembly resolutions, senate joint resolutions and senate resolutions.
Assembly Bill 123 and Assembly Joint Resolution 4 are two pieces of legislation that impact a wide variety of people. One seeks to rid Nevada of daylight saving time changes, the other wants to declare the square dance as the official state dance.
A full list of state bills can be found on the Nevada Electronic Legislative Information System online at leg.state.nv.us under the NELIS tab.
Assembly Bill 123
The square dance may become the official state dance if the Nevada legislators pass AB 123.
The Nevada State Assembly passed the bill in a 33-9 vote on Tuesday, February 24 and has sent it to the state Senate.
The bill’s primary sponsor, Assemblywoman Robin Titus, R-Yerington, first introduced the bill to the state Assembly on Friday, Feb. 6. In her letter to the Nevada State Assembly, Titus said that the passage of this bill could be perfectly timed, since the Silver State celebrated its 150th birthday last October.
Titus cited in her letter that the square dance has been the national folk dance since 1982. According to Titus, 31 states have declared the square dance as their state dance since 2013.
Titus also mentioned that square dancing is a safe and fun activity, fit for all ages since drug use is not permitted. The assemblywoman claimed that the dance promotes “friendliness and hospitality through the medium.” In her opinion, the union of dancers’ hands represents friendship and cooperation.
“…The joining of hands forms a small family who help each other and this helping hand attitude carries over into a dancer’s home and business life,” Titus wrote.
Square dance supporter Jim Falk referenced many health benefits that are associated with square dancing. According to Falk, square dancing can impact a person’s mental, physical and social health. Falk said that square dancers could burn between 300 and 800 calories without feeling like they had exercised, strengthen their bones and relieve stress.
“…It is inexpensive entertainment and wonderful exercise for body, mind and soul,” Titus said. “A night of dancing can truly make a person forget about a bad day they had before coming to dance.”
The state Senate has yet to schedule a date for the bill’s hearing.
Assembly Joint Resolution 4
The Assembly Legislatures Operations and Elections committee will hear a bill on Wednesday March 24 that asks Congress to allow Nevada to eliminating daylight saving time changes.
Assembly Joint Resolution 4 primary sponsor Assemblyman Chris Edwards, R-Las Vegas, told KRNV News 4 that many Nevadans are in support of the bill because they don’t feel that there is value in daylight saving time changes.
“There’s a lot of people that want this,” Edwards said. “I’m getting emails all over the place now.”
Elko resident Janine Hansen sent in her written testimony in favor of AJR4. Hansen suffers from seasonal affective disorder and stated that the bill’s passage would be beneficial to her health. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, people who are diagnosed with SAD can develop long-term depression, a bipolar disorder and possible suicidal thoughts.
The National Library of Medicine stated that the residents of areas where there are longer winter nights have a greater risk of SAD.
“When time change happens in autumn, and it is dark in Elko at 4 p.m., I feel just like I’ve been put in prison,” Hansen wrote in her testimony. “For me, as for many, SAD causes depression, anxiety, inability to sleep, a lower functioning immune system and just overall problems of not feeling well.”
A sufficient amount of sleep is necessary to treat SAD, along with a healthy diets and exercise. Keeping daylight saving time consistent through the year could boost Hansen health and others that suffer from SAD.
Along with Hansen’s testimony, a New England Journal of Medicine article and a study by Ransdell Pierson and Bill Berkrot were also presented to the committee. The documents suggested that eliminating time changes could lower heart attack risks among some people and car accidents.
Congress originally implemented daylight saving time changes in the United States in 1918 as a wartime effort. History.com reported that President Theodore Roosevelt proposed the change to conserve fuel. The Las Vegas Review-Journal wrote in their staff editorial daylight saving time no longer serves its intended purpose.
While the bill had no opposition when it was presented before the committee, it could still be a while before it is made into law.
Should the bill pass through the Nevada legislature, it will still need to be approved by Congress before it can be enacted. Edwards said that could take two years.
Rocío Hernández can be reached email@example.com and on Twitter @rociohdz19.