Daylight saving time: Which states want to stop changing the clocks?
(NEXSTAR) – We are just a few weeks away from the return of daylight saving time, meaning Americans in all but two states will soon be setting their clocks ahead and losing a bit of sleep.
If you’re not looking forward to the change, you aren’t alone. In the past, many states have tried to end the twice-a-year clock change, and federal legislation has made some headway, but no sweeping change has been agreed on.
Last year, the Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021, introduced by Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.). The bill would make daylight saving time our normal time, effective in early November 2023. It was sent to the House of Representatives in March, but no action was taken on it. According to records, a new bill regarding daylight saving time has yet to be introduced during the current Congress.
Federal law says there are only two ways the U.S. can abandon daylight saving time changes: Congress enacts a federal law or a state or local government submits detailed information to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation “supporting its contention the requested change would serve the convenience of commerce.”
As most state legislatures have begun to convene, some have brought forth legislation to end the clock-changing.
What are states doing about daylight saving time?
Two states — Hawaii and most of Arizona — observe permanent standard time, meaning they don’t change their clocks at all. Instead, they change time zones: Arizona will shift from Mountain Time to Pacific Time when we move the clocks forward, and Hawaii will move from six hours behind Eastern Time to five hours behind.
As of October 2022, at least 19 states had already enacted legislation or resolutions to stay on daylight saving time permanently, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). But these states can’t make the change without Congressional approval, or their neighboring states enacting similar legislation.
Those states with enacted legislation or resolutions include Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. California voters authorized a change but legislative action has yet to happen. Massachusetts has commissioned studies on the matter, according to the NCSL. In 2022, Kentucky and Mississippi approved legislation, both calling for Congress and the president to make daylight saving time permanent.
Legislators in Arkansas and Oklahoma have introduced bills to remain on daylight saving time permanently if Congress allows states to make such a choice.
Lawmakers in Nebraska have introduced a similar bill with an additional caveat: a third neighboring state (either Iowa, South Dakota, Missouri, or Kansas) needs to pass a similar law, according to the Nebraska Examiner.
Two bills have been introduced in New Mexico. One aims to keep the state on standard time year-round, while the other would make daylight saving time year-round as long as all or part of Texas (specifically, El Paso County, Texas) passes a similar law. In Texas, lawmakers are hoping to pass a resolution that would put the choice between permanent standard time or permanent daylight saving time up to voters in November.
Virginia’s state Senate failed to pass a bill last month that would’ve moved the state to year-round daylight saving time. The bill’s author, Republican Senator Richard H. Stuart, said his reason for bringing it forward was because he’s “really tired of changing the clocks twice a year.”
Legislation in Iowa, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, Washington, and West Virginia failed to pass last year.
This year, daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m. on the morning of March 12.
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