Daylight saving time starts on Sunday, March 13, which means that Americans in all but two states will lose an hour of sleep.
Are you opposed to daylight saving time? Many legislators are not and have already begun efforts to prevent us from changing our clocks.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, at least 350 legislation and resolutions involving daylight saving time have been proposed in virtually every state since 2015. Regrettably, the majority of those did not pass.
Federal law specifies just two procedures for the United States to discontinue daylight savings changes: Congress enacts a federal statute, or a state or local government provides specific material to the United States Secretary of Transportation “to substantiate its position that the sought modification will improve trade.”
Hawaii and most Arizona adhere to permanent standard time, which means their clocks do not change at all.
Between November and March, standard time is observed. While most of the United States turns to daylight savings, Arizona and Hawaii start switching time zones – Arizona moves from the Mountain to the Pacific Time Zone. In contrast, Hawaii moves from five to six hours behind Eastern Time.
Which states are campaigning to get daylight savings time eliminated?
In the previous four years, 18 states have approved laws or resolutions requiring Congress to approve year-round daylight saving time for inhabitants. In other instances, the legislation requires adjacent states to implement comparable legislation.
These states have already passed laws or adopted resolutions requiring year-round daylight saving time compliance:
- California (Voters authorized, but not yet enacted)
- Charleston, South Carolina
According to the NCSL, approximately 30 states are debating legislation affecting daylight saving time this year alone.
Even if legislation is passed, it may not affect its neighbors following suit. For instance, one of Iowa’s proposed laws states that the state cannot abandon daylight saving time unless Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin approve comparable legislation.
To complicate matters further, Nebraska’s forthcoming bill declares that it will remain in effect until three of its neighboring states enact identical legislation.
Additionally, there is a disparity between what certain states desire, according to the NCSL.
While the majority choose to remain on daylight saving time year-round — which means that whatever time their clock is set to between March and November remains permanent — some prefer to remain on regular time. Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Washington are among them.
What is the status of daylight saving time in Congress?
Congress enacted the first daylight saving legislation a century ago with the Calder Act, signed into law by then-President Woodrow Wilson. Americans were compelled to adjust their clocks to standard time on March 19, 1918, and then one hour ahead on March 31.
After two years, many localities implemented their daylight savings time systems. By the mid-1960s, 18 states had switched to daylight saving time, while 12 had remained on standard time.
According to the Smithsonian, Congress established the Uniform Time Act in 1966, establishing the current daylight saving schedule that 48 states use.
There are presently three daylight saving time legislation pending in Congress:
- H.R. 5826 would allow states to choose to observe daylight saving time year-round.
- H.R. 5906, the DAYLIGHT Act, would let states observe daylight saving time all year.
- S. 623, the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021, will permanently establish daylight saving time as the new standard time.
- Some industries appear to profit from daylight savings time. The Chamber of Commerce is one of them, as Michael Downing, a professor at Tufts University, said in 2015. He explained that the Chamber “early on recognized that if you allow employees daylight when they leave their employment, they are far more likely to stop and buy on their way home.”
The Department of Transportation now attributes Daylight Saving Time to energy conservation, collision prevention, and crime reduction.