Permanent Daylight Saving Time Considered by States

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Permanent daylight saving time means that when clocks are adjusted to “spring forward” by an hour from March to November, they would never “fall back,” thus creating more sunlight in the evening hours.

A permanent daylight saving time (DST) bill, HB 1196, was signed into law in Washington state on May 8, 2019. The law would enact DST year-round if Congress were to amend the Uniform Time Act to allow the change. Currently, states may opt-out of the time change only if they remain on standard time all year. Arizona and Hawaii are the only two states that stay on standard time throughout the year, so residents never change their clocks.

Many other states are considering similar laws or appeals to Congress, including California, New York, and Texas. In Illinois, a group of high school students lobbied State Senator Andy Manar (D) to introduce SB 533 to end daylight saving time after learning about the issue in civics class.

Bills to move to permanent daylight saving have died in Idaho, Mississippi, New Mexico, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming this year.

At the federal level, Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rick Scott (R-FL), and Representative Vern Buchanan (R-FL) introduced the Sunshine Protection Act on Mar. 6, 2019, which would switch the whole country to permanent DST. Florida enacted a permanent DST law in 2018, the first state to do so. In a Mar. 15, 2019 opinion piece, Rubio and Buchanan noted that permanent DST could benefit the economy, lower health risks, and reduce crime.

Heidi May Wilson, a spokesperson for the National Parent Teacher Association, stated, “National PTA is opposed to daylight saving time during the winter months because of the safety factor.” Not changing the clocks in the fall would make winter mornings even darker and colder for kids walking to school or the bus stop.

Internationally, the European Union (EU) got rid of the twice-yearly time switch, and will allow member states to choose to stay on “permanent winter” or “permanent summer time,” essentially standard time and daylight saving time respectively, in 2021.

In 2019, DST runs from Sunday, Mar. 10 to Sunday, Nov. 3 in the United States.

Discussion Questions
1. Should the United States keep Daylight Saving Time? Why?

2. Should states be able to choose between Daylight Saving Time and Standard Time? Why?

3. Do you prefer Daylight Saving Time or Standard Time? Why?

Sources:

Joel Achenbach, “Springing forward to Daylight Saving Time Is Obsolete, Confusing and Unhealthy, Critics Say,” washingtonpost.com, Mar. 8, 2019

Ballotpedia, “California Proposition 7, Permanent Daylight Saving Time Measure (2018),” ballotpedia.org (accessed May 13, 2019)

Daniel Boffey, “European Parliament Votes to Scrap Daylight Saving Time from 2021,” theguardian.com, Mar. 26, 2019

Cassie Buchman, “These High School Students Want to End Daylight Saving Time in Illinois. Lawmakers Are Listening,” pjstar.com, May 12, 2019

LocktheClock, “Current Legislation,” sco.tt/time (accessed May 13, 2019)

Marco Rubio, “Senators Rubio, Scott, Representative Buchanan Introduce Bill To Make Daylight Saving Time Permanent,” rubio.senate.gov, Mar. 6, 2019

Marco Rubio and Vern Buchanan, “Trump Is Right. Daylight Saving Time Should Be Permanent,” washingtonpost.com, Mar. 15, 2019

Reid Wilson, “Dozens of States Consider Move to Permanent Daylight Saving Time,” thehill.com, May 12, 2019