All The State Laws That Would Change Daylight Savings Time In The United States
Daylight Savings Time, that yearly tradition where our clocks spring forward in March and fall back in November, is once again upon us. Most of us remember to change our clocks, some of us have to be reminded, but even fewer of us know why we even bother doing it in the first place. Daylight Savings Time (or DST, for short) was originally put into use during World War I as a means of conserving energy. Since we'd all be experiencing an extra hour of daylight, there'd be one fewer hour where artificial lighting was required.
It was brought back on a nationwide scale for World War II but was mostly an issue for individual states to consider until the passage of the Uniform Time Act in 1966. That bill mandated all states either opt into Daylight Savings Time or opt-out at their discretion. Any recognized Native American Nations within the United States can choose to use DST or not as well.
Only two states chose to bypass DST. As a result, DST became accepted practice throughout most of the country. DST is only to be used during the specific months as designated by the federal government. All states that observe DST must use the dates put into place by the federal government.
In the last few years, support for DST has dropped as the purpose of the practice has become less apparent. A 2019 poll by YouGov found that 54 percent of respondents favored abolishing Daylight Savings Time completely.
The federal government took up legislation on the matter in 2022 and the so-called Sunshine Protection Act was passed by the US Senate in March of that year. The Sunshine Protection Act would make DST permanent across the country in November 2023. The US House of Representatives has yet to vote on the matter. As of January 13, 2023, the bill (House Bill 364) was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Nineteen states have passed legislation to make DST permanent - but many need federal approval to make it happen. Several of those states also need surrounding states to make the change as well. Through it all, states across the country have proposed bill after bill to exempt themselves from DST, but often lack the support needed to make it happen. Many of these bills failed, didn't make it out of committee, or were simply left to die at the end of a legislative session. The information below includes the most current information about pending and passed state legislation about DST, as of February 2023.
In 2020, House Bill 215 would have established permanent Daylight Savings Time, pending the approval of the U.S. Congress. It died in committee. The following year, Senate Bill 388 established year-round DST in Alabama. This is contingent upon federal legislation.
Status: Pending in the House Community & Regional Affairs Committee
House Bill 30 was introduced on January 19, 2023. It proposed year-round daylight savings time.
The Uniform Time Act of 1966 gave states the right to opt out of Daylight Savings Time if approved by their state's legislature. Arizona chose to out out of Daylight Savings Time in 1967. This was done in order to cut down on fuel usage associated with air conditioning and cooling systems in oppressive desert heat. Another hour of sunlight during the active periods of the day would theoretically cause more people cooling more buildings.
Status: Failed to make it out of committee.
House Bill 1017, proposed in 2021, would have made Daylight Savings Time year-round.
Status: Bill pending.
California's Proposition 7 was ratified by voters in 2018. That repealed 1949's Proposition 12, which authorized the use of Daylight Savings Time. It also gave the State legislature the authority to permanently establish Daylight Savings Time, pending congressional approval. As of 2021, the State legislature had not had the majority to take further action.
Status: Bill pending.
Governor Jared Polis signed House Bill 1297 in 2022 making Daylight Savings Time permanent. This “change takes effect only if a federal law is enacted to allow states to remain on daylight saving time year-round and at least 4 states in the MST zone, in addition to Colorado, enact legislation making daylight saving time the state's standard time throughout the year.”