Politics

Nineteen states seek to make daylight saving time year-round

In light of the yearly “fall back” to the end of Daylight Savings Time last weekend, 19 states are trying to make daylight savings time last all year long.

Many people find the switch to and from Daylight Savings Time an annoyance that they’d rather forgo. Legislators have heard these cries and at least 19 states may be moving on from the back-and-forth of changing clocks twice a year.

The National Conference of State Legislatures reported that in the last five years, 19 states have either enacted legislation, passed resolutions, or commissioned studies relating to DST. Federal law currently does not permit year round daylight savings, although Arizona and Hawaii have long forgone abiding by that. Even if a state passes legislation regarding the semi-annual time changes, Congress must approve

This year, Alabama, Georgia, Minnesota, Mississippi and Montana have enacted DST legislation. Last year, it was Idaho, Louisiana, South Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming, with Ohio passing a resolution. In 2019, Arkansas, Delaware, Maine, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington enacted legislation and in 2018, only Florida passed legislation.

California voters authorized the change in 2018 by vote, but legislative action is still in progress. The two states to commission DST studies are Massachusetts in 2017 and Maine this year. The Department of Transportation is the agency in charge of the policy. They say that the benefits of DST are energy savings, car accident prevention, and a decrease in crime. Sleep experts argue that the loss of sleep makes those benefits not worth it.

During World War I, the government first started DST as a way to preserve coal and save money. However, nationwide DST was enacted in 1966 by the Uniform Time Act. Prior to that, each state observed DST in their own way. The act required states to change their clocks at the specified times or maintain DST all year long. 

ARTICLE: RITA VOGT

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: WCVB.COM

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