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

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I really hope that ALL countries abolish this practice. It really messes with my body clock and I really find it extremely hard to adjust. I also feel sorry for farmers - milking the cows at a different time would not be good - they also have a rhythm. Being electricity is NOT being impacted that much, meaning we don't really save a lot of energy, we may even be using more energy, then what is the point? It just upsets everything!!!


Hello there! I live in Saskatchewan, and we are one of the only parts of Canada that does not change time for DST. We follow the sun, and this is easy on our bodies.
Have DST is like instituting a twice yearly jet-lag but without the tropical vacation! (Ohh, that's good, I should quote myself :) ) . It makes people tired and crabby and really doesn't give you more sunlight. If you need to do things earlier, just get up earlier, don't make everyone else change their clocks for you!

The reason that we don't change time is because our province is divided down the middle. We used to change half the province at a time. But people had problems then, for example, farmers going to the government offices in the cities might find that the offices had already closed by the time they arrived, becuase of the time difference. The powers that be thought this was a silly state of affairs, so they made it so that half the province is on standard time and the other half on DST for different parts of the year. They switch. That way, we are effectively on the same time all month long.

Whew. Our bodies are happier for it.

Peace, Rachel.

DST - corrections

I mean, *Having DST...
and "twice-yearly" and, "we are effectively on the same time all YEAR long."

daylight savings time



I haven't changed my clocks since I was thirteen, and I am now seventy. If you want to go to work an hour earlier so you can go home earlier and enjoy an extra hour of sunlight, work it out with your boss, but don't ram it down my throat. Some of us are night people.

Daylight savings

It is safer for everyone if it stays later out at night, especially during the winter months. Let the sun shine and heat up the roads as long as they can. It will also heat our houses longer.

Daylight Savings

The number of hours the sun shines down on you does not change just because you change your clock. Only the time, according to that clock, changes. Your arguments do not hold water.

True, but ....

True, that the number of hours the sun shines does not change. However, as most people work, go shopping, or go to school, and employers, retailers, and schools don't change their hours, that means kids and adults have to walk to work, the store, or school in the dark because we changed our clocks by an hour causes me concern.


Yes I agree we should have DST all year...

Abolish dst

Easy to set clocks but our bodies are used to routines.

Abolish dst

Easy to set clocks but our bodies are used to routines.

Stop Daylight Savings Time Changes

Hate it. Outdated and nonsensical. The sun will come up and go down when it does. Why throw our biological rhythms off twice a year?


I believe there is only one correct/natural way and that is leaving the Standard Time in place at all times. I do not like DST.

Hate DST

My body does not like DST, I don't see any real advantage of having it. I really hate the fact that kids are disrupted in their sleep patterns and I have found that the older I get, the harder it is on my body. Texas, please abolish DST!

Daylight savings time

I have long desired for daylight savings time to be ended.


I would like to see DST ended for good. It does not appear to benefit anyone. It is confusing and takes time for adjustment twice a year. It would be better to just stay on standard time all the time.


Makes no sense. Changing clocks twice a year was a nuisance when my kids were babies - and is more problematic for retirees. I say abolish the practice!


I so agree with getting rid of Daylight Saving Time, I for sure don't really get extra sleep, just loose time reseting all the clocks on the stove, coffee makers, microwaves and all the other dumb thing around the house.


I hate it. It should be abolished!

Time changes

I wish in the spring when it goes forward that it would just be left alone. It disrupts people and pets as well. The government needs to stay out of certain things and this is one of them!

Ban DST - Times have changed!

I haven’t found one person that understands, agrees, likes or is in favor of daylight savings time”.
What is more frustrating to me, is that out of all the time spent on this ridiculous topic, not one push is made on Congress to abolish this law. Perhaps this action too, will fall in the category of nothing gets done by Congress. If that remains true, then we all should push our State legislators to take advantage of the current law and opt out of this “government knows best” idea.
A well known company coined the slogan... Just Do It!
Come on legislators... listen to your electors and JUST DO IT!,


DST should be abolished ASAP


I have never liked DST. It's difficult getting used to the time changes. I never seem to get enough sleep. Down with Day Light Savings Time... Keep Standard Time year round.

Stop the madness!

I suffer from night vision problems so I enjoy the extra hour of daylight. Either way, I'm sick of moving my clocks backward and forward. Pick a time and leave it be!


Abolish it

Pennsylvania should opt out if the feds disagree


I want the natural time back..I don't like the change. Causes problems adjusting many situations that are on a schedule to then have to change that schedule for a few months. Upsetting, tiring and disgusting.


People complain the DTS is not healthily what about the number of people who work shift work and change their sleeping habits weekly is that ruining their health less or more than DST THINKE ABOUT IT. IT IS STUIPED if DTS effects the health then more are effect because of shift work and you never here any thing about it causing health problems or accidents Etc.


Yes there are, Al. There are "significantly more fatal accidents" the day after the change. They won't let me post the link, but this is the title: You can google search it: Fatal accidents following changes in daylight savings time: the American experience.


Absolutely hate it! It is so hard on everyone in the spring and in the fall I don't feel like I "gain" an hour of sleep at all! How do we abolish it? Who do we contact?


Absolutely hate it! It is so hard on everyone in the spring and in the fall I don't feel like I "gain" an hour of sleep at all! How do we abolish it? Who do we contact?