More States Moving to Keep Daylight Saving Time Permanent

Plus, DST is NOT for Farmers!

March 10, 2021
Clock in Grass

Last week, a group of bipartisan senators reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act, legislation that would make Daylight Saving Time (DST) permanent across the country. This push to end the practice of clock-changing twice a year has been gaining momentum the past few years. Here’s the latest news on the time change.

Daylight Saving Time (DST) begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November in the U.S. and Canada. In March, we “spring” forward and set clocks forward one hour. In November, we “fall” back and set clocks back one hour. Learn more about When Daylight Saving Time Begins and Ends

It’s a popular myth that Daylight Saving Time exists for farmers. This practice—which only became regular in 1966, suprisingly enough—was actually challenged by farmers and is being increasingly challenged by modern society today.

The reasons that DST was started (as a wartime effort over a century ago) are now antiquated and many Americans find the twice-a-year “time change” makes little sense. In addition, there are many studies that show the negative impact of biannual time changes and the benefits of a year-round Daylight Saving Time.

Latest Updates (March 2021)

In March 2021, a bipartisan bill called the “Sunshine Protection Act of 2021” was submitted for consideration in the U.S. Senate. The bill aims to end the time change and make DST permanent across the United States. Bottom-line, the bill would simply negate the need for Americans to change their clocks twice a year. 

The bill has been co-sponsored by eight senators—both Democrats and Republicans—so chances are good that it will at least be considered. If you support this change, consider contacting your state’s senators to let them know!

Daylight Saving Time in the 1970s

Interestingly, Daylight Saving Time (DST) wasn’t a regular “thing” until April 12, 1966, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Uniform Time Act into law. This established a system of uniform (within each time zone) Daylight Saving Time rules throughout the U.S. and its territories. States were allowed to opt out (and some did).

The U.S. had Daylight Saving Time as early as 1918, but it was off and on. Namely, DST was briefly used during World War I and World War II to conserve fuel. It was used again for this purpose for a short while during the oil crisis of the early 1970’s under Nixon. (Read more about the checkered history of Daylight Saving Time.)

Photo credit: Billion Photos/Shutterstock

Daylight Saving is NOT for Farmers

Despite the popular belief that Daylight Saving was a convenience created for farmers, DST has nothing to do with farming. In fact, farmers have often been the strongest lobby against the change. Farmers didn’t like DST when it was first introduced and most don’t like it to this day.

During the first World War I experiment in 1918, farmers were extremely opposed to having to turn back and forward their clocks. Not surprisingly, it disrupted their schedules and made it more difficult to get the most out of hired help.

Imagine telling a dairy cow used to being milked at 5 a.m. that their milking time needs to move back an hour before the milk truck is coming to do a pickup. For the farmer—and the plants and animals—it’s the sun and the seasons that determine the best times to do things.

After the war ended, the DST law (which lasted only 7 months) proved so unpopular with our agrarian society, the federal law was repealed in 1919. Some state and localities continued the observance, however. During another war, World War II, “War Time” was enforced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It introduced year-round Daylight Saving Time from February 9, 1942, to September 30, 1945. 

From 1945 to 1966, observance of DST was quite inconsistent across U.S. states. There were no uniform rules. This caused massive confusion with the transportation industry and the broadcasting industry, which pushed for standardization. The farmers, however, were still opposed to it.

To address this confusion, the Uniform Time Act was established in 1966.

DST Practices Today

The current enactment was part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation is the federal agency responsible for overseeing DST and the country’s time zones. All states but Hawaii and Arizona (except for the Navajo Nation) observe DST.

  • Hawaii abandoned the law in 1967. In Hawaii, the sun rises and sets at about the same time every day, so why bother?
  • Arizona followed suit in 1968. Not setting clocks forward gives residents lower temperatures during waking and bedtime hours. 

The territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands also do not observe DST. Federal law allows a state to exempt itself from observing daylight saving time—upon action by the state legislature—but does not allow the permanent observance of DST.

Photo Credit: Zaccio/Shutterstock

Does the Time Change Conserve Energy?

  • Department of Energy report from 2008 found that during the 4 weeks the U.S. extended daylight savings from the 2005 law, there were savings of about 0.5 percent in electricity per day. Later studies have also shown that the energy savings are minimal but a small savings does occur.


Health and Safety

Energy isn’t the only thing to be considered. What about our health and safety? 

  • More daylight in evenings results in fewer car crashes and pedestrian accidents, better aligning with drivers’ standard work hours and increase visibility, according to the American Journal of Public Health and the Journal of Safety Research. 
  • It reduces the number of robberies by 27%, according to a 2015 Brookings Institution,
  • Studies have show that time changes result in a higher number of cardiac issues, stroke, and seasonal depression.
  • When clicks move back, there is a drop in economic activity and worker productivity of 2.2 percent – 4.9 percent, according to a study by JP Morgan Chase.
  • It would allow kids to play outside longer. During DST, children see an increase in physical activivty, which helps reduce childhood obesity and increase physical fitness, according to studies published by the International Journal Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity and the Journal of Physical Activity and Health
  • The Journal of Environmental Psychology found that DST increased pedestrian activity by 62% and cyclists activity by 38% because of additional daylight.
  • Finally, it helps the farmers, without disrupting their agricultural and livestock schedules and their supply chain partners.
  • What about November, when you get an extra hour of sleep? The reality is that most people don’t sleep any extra. And the disruption in the body’s daily sleep-wake cycle can affect sleep for several days.

► See 5 tips to help your body to adjust to Daylight Saving Time.


A Movement to Eliminate Clock Changing

This movement is fairly recent. Since 2015, more than 200 bills and resolutions have been introduced in virtually every state to either stay on standard time or convert to year-round DST.

Until 2018, not much happened. Then, a movement began and there are now more than a dozen states that have enacted legislation to provide for year-round daylight saving time. 

  • In 2018, the Florida Sunshine Protection Act was passed in the state Legislature with overwhelming support for year-round daylight saving time. 
  • In 2018, California voters approved a proposition for year-round daylight saving time. But the proposition required a two-thirds vote of the California State Senate which was never brought to a vote because the federal government failed to give the state approval for the time change; the bill died.
    Unfortunately, the California State Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities and Communications did not bring AB 7 up for a vote and the bill died.”
  • In 2019, six more states passed legislation for year-round DST, if authorized by Congress: Arkansas, Delaware, Maine, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington. 
  • In 2020, Utah passed a bill to end the practice of “springing forward.“ Joining Utah were: Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, South Carolina, and Wyoming. 

As of March 2021, fifteen states — Arkansas, Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming — have passed laws, resolutions or voter initiatives for permanent DST, and dozens more are looking. 

It’s All Up to the Federal Government

The problem: A federal statue is require for any state to enact changes. As discussed above, the time is set by the Uniform Time Act, which was established in 1966 for a synchronized DST schedule across the country.

When the Energy Policy Act extended the hours in 2005, Congress retained the right to revert back should the change prove unpopular or if energy savings are not significant. However, it now takes an act of Congress to make the change.

  • States are only granted the right to opt out of observing daylight saving time—and remain on standard time—without any federal say (e.g., Hawaii). 
  • However, most states wish to stop switching the clocks and establishes DST as the official time year-round. This would require Congress to approve an amendment to the Uniform Time Act. 

If the re-introduced Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 was passed by the Senate, it would indeed negate Standard Time, which only lasts between November to March, when Americans turn their clocks back one hour. Americans would keep DST, which currently lasts from March to November, and wouldn’t have to change their clocks twice a year. 

Only time will tell if this bill gains enough traction to pass, but public opinion seems to be in favor. The bill has the support of at least eight senators—both Democrats and Republicans—right from the start, so chances are good that the bill will be considered. If you’re interested in showing your support, consider contacting your state’s senators and voicing your opinion!


Our European Counterparts

This brings us to our European contemporaries. They also practice Daylight Saving Time. For most of Europe, DST:

  • Begins at 1:00 a.m. GMT on the last Sunday of March
  • Ends at 1:00 a.m. GMT on the last Sunday of October

In 2018, European Parliament drafted a law to permanently remove biannual clock changes in the European Union. The law proposed that 2021 would be the last time EU Member States and affiliated countries would follow the seasonal clock change.  However, due to COVID, the plans for removing the time change have been postponed. 

Other countries have already ended seasonal clock changes, including Argentina (2009), Russia (2014), and Turkey (2016).

In conclusion, just as is the case with North Americans, the EU population overwhelmingly wants to abolish the clock changes during the year. In the case of the EU, member states would have the option to go permanently to summer (daylight) time or winter (standard) time. A poll was conducted in which 80% were in favor of eliminating the time change. The head of the European Commission, which originally drafted the directive to end DST, said, “It would be pointless to ask for people’s opinions and not act on it if you don’t agree with them.”

What do you think about Daylight Saving Time? Tell us in the comments below!


Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

No daylight savings time

(Eastern) Standard Time. Do it and be done with it. Thanks.

Keep it one time all year!

I don't care which, just stop changing our time. My internal clock does not reset easily, and I am out of it for at least a week twice a year. Most people I know are unhappy with it. I live on the mainland, as far west as you can go without getting wet, and we did vote to stick to one time, if Congress will ever allow it. I truly hate time changes....just ask my husband!


I detest DST. I wish it would be abolished altogether. My body rejects it and it does not benefit me at all.

Daylight savings time should be STOPPED PERMANENTLY!

Stop it permanently. I do not appreciate in the slightest to need to get up a=n hour earlier from beginning to end which is approx. for eight months. STOP IT PERMANTLY, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO HAVE THE TIME CHANGED UP OR DOWN, AND THERE NEVER REALLY WAS ANY REASON.



Get rid if DST.

Daylight Saving Time is a menace for all but the retired and outdoor sports enthusiasts. We need to stay on Standard Time year-round. I live on the far western border of the eastern time zone, and with DST it doesn’t get fully dark here until about 10 p.m. at the summer solstice. That’s insanity.


Pick one and leave it.


As a resident of AZ, we don’t change. Unfortunately, everyone else does, so now interacting with folks in other states becomes a real chore, esp friends on the east coast. They are asleep when it’s early evening in AZ. 2 hours difference is bad enough but 3 hours is horrendous.
Just stay on standard time everywhere year round.
Also, it’s really hard on the domesticated animals who rely on humans to take care of them.


This practice of DST is outdated and causes more harm than good. The sun setting at 9:00 PM is just nonsense.


It seems that a majority of people, including me, prefer staying on Standard Time year-round. Politicians should take heed and represent us. What happened to government of the people, by the people, for the people?


I want it year round because it gives me the extra daylight to work in the yard, i.e. mowing, picking up stuff, etc. I don't do that stuff in the morning hours before breakfast. I'm retired, so I sleep longer.


I would prefer to see DST abolished. I like it staying light at night later in the summer but I don't need light at 10 pm! It would still be light at 9 so that is good! We also need to consider how this change affects people.


Come on Government, leave the people alone to choose what is needed and what the people want. Stay Standard and eliminate Daylight Savings. I mean really - what does it save anyway? Do away with DST and with it all television commercials that are also a big waste of time.


We should stay on standard time. If the Almanac doesn't like 4:14 sunsets, why, just wait about 8 days, and your afternoons lengthen all by themselves. I spent four years in IN at college, and having the clocks stay put was just fine. If we as a nation are consuming more gasoline because of "saving time", isn't that alone a major justification for ending this practice of clock change?


Let us stay with "natural" Standard time year round. The effects of changing the clocks are hard on our pets as well as us. The length of daylight does not change because we change the clocks hands. If you want more light at late day or earlier mornings, change your schedule NOT the clocks!


Keep DST year round, changing the clocks is an outdated practice, not to mention the health issues the time change creates.


Leave the time as standard time. I don't need sunlight at 9:00 p.m. at night.


I like CST but I would prefer they would just pick one and leave it alone!


Why not "Spring Forward" half an hour and leave it there? I get so sick of the change. You no more get everything adjusted to one and then you have to change back. It serves no purpose at all. Why change the clocks. If you want to start work earlier. Get YOURSELF up and leave everyone else in the world alone.




I would strongly oppose a permanent time change to DST. Even with standard time, the days are still long. In Mississippi, it would only mean sunset at 7:30 pm instead of 8:30 pm.


Leave clocks to standard time!!!
Farmers need the nature clock !!

Wouldn't "high noon"

Wouldn't "high noon" generally be closer to 12:00 p.m. than to 1:00 p.m if we keep standard time permanent?


Leave time on standard time. We don’t need to switch to DST. This is disruptive to adults, children, farmers livestock. It is not a healthy switch, it is proven that increase in heart attacks.


Get rid of it! I truly believe the experts when they say it is unhealthy on our bodies. I am retired now but remember when I was working a day job. I came close to accidents on the highway due to sleeplessness. Whether it was me or the person in the other vehicle, the Monday after the time change was extremely dangerous to be on the road. And not just in the morning even though it was the worst. Evening rush hour was just as dangerous as people were tired and unused to getting up at the new time. Anyone having to deal on a day to day basis with time changes, pays the price for this additional, and I think unnecessary time stress. We all have to deal with time zones, let's get rid of this failing DST once and for all, and give ourselves a little break.

Daylight Savings time

As my great grandfather used to say, "There's God's time and fool's time" Daylight savings time is fool's time. I HATE daylight savings time. It just does start getting light enough in the mornings that I am not feeding the animals in the dark, and the idiots in Washington change the time so that I am feeding animals in the dark, again! It throws my family and my animals all out of whack for weeks! We need to STAY ON STANDARD TIME (God's time) and leave it alone! Congress needs to quit being stupid!

Daylight savings time

I think we should get back on God's time and stay there. The Facebook post of the old Indian saying "these people think if you cut a foot off one end of a blanket and sew it onto the other end you have a longer blanket" holds so true. Before clocks and DST you could use the stars and the sun to tell what time it was.


I think we should just leave time alone. I don't care which time we use, just pick one.

DST is ridiculas.

Regarding Maggie's comment. There are NOT more daylight hours for driving. More people have to drive in dark in the morning (unless you do not get up until after 8:00 AM). There are still the same number of hours:minutes of daylight regardless of what time is on the clock. This is set by the earths rotation, NOT politicians. It was a dumb idea when first enacted and just as stupid now.


I vote to keep DST permanently mainly for one reason - more daylight hours for driving. Perhaps I missed it, but did your article talk about whether there are more car accidents at night (in the dark)? Year round DST would also mean fewer driving hours without having to face the glare of SUV and pick-up lights that are aimed right at oncoming drivers’ eyes.