More States Moving to Keep Daylight Saving Time Permanent

Plus, DST is NOT for Farmers!

March 10, 2021
Clock in Grass
M.Vich/Shutterstock

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.)

shutterstock_320805509_full_width.jpg
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.

shutterstock_398925817_full_width.jpg
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.

shutterstock_318184772_full_width.jpg

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.

farmers-2343262_1280.jpg

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!

astronomy-3217141_1280_full_width.jpg

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!

2022_planner_spring_ad.png

Reader Comments

Leave a Comment

use standard time all the year round

standard time seems the best allround time forget dst we will all adjust quickly!

time change

it is silly T0 keep changing time. never understood why the people wants children to be riding the bus in the dark both ways in places. many people suffer mentally with this change like me and it really messes me up and i will not get use to it in time to change again. the clocks in peoples heads do not work for the dark of winter. leave them the way the clock is now....2:30 pm as i type this. Sunday it will be 1:30 and why. leave it like it is now..........i hate waking up in the dark to ger grandson ready for school.

DST

The government is suppose to be for the people by the people so if 80% of the people are tired of changing their clocks and living with the aggravation of it all then why is DST still being shoved down our throats?

Changing the clocks

I personally would prefer standard time but a decision needs to be made. It should be done as a referendum on the state voting ballot.

DST

Hate it as it's so unnecessary in this MODERN age. I believe it should be a nation wide law to keep it uniform across the USA. It would help end a lot of confusion for sure.

DST

Floridians voted to keep 'sunshine' but US Gov't supersedes! So much for States' Rights

STOP THE TIME CHANGE

It is crazy to continue on with this archaic practice. As duly noted during this recent crisis - people rarely go out to shop anymore, having most things delivered to their homes.. It is crazy to continue on with this practice.. If the government wants to do something that will make EVERYONE HAPPY THAT VOTES - FIX THIS SILLINESS.. CAN YOU AT LEAST AGREE ON THAT!?!?!

DST

I wholeheartedly vote to get rid of the changing of clocks twice a year!!!......Keep it on Standard or DST......changing is ridiculous and a hazard to our health and quality of life, in my opinion.....

DST

As a young child during WWII, I was told that DST made it easier for working people to work in their Victory Gardens after they came home from work...they had more daylight.

Daylights savings time

I believe our health and well being should be the country's top priority when deciding to get rid of daylight savings time. There is already a sleep epidemic and DST contributes to it. Teachers complain every spring about kids falling asleep in the classroom in the spring. There is no need for my daylight in the evening. Our health concerns should be the most important factor to consider. We dont need daylight savings time. I pray Congress gets rid of it.

Daylight Savings Time

It is the most crazy thing to change times 2 times a year. Our body clocks are messed up enough so why impose this on us twice a year, especially when small children have no idea except what their bodies tell them. Come on Congress, have a heart!

DST

DST is an abomination and should have been destroyed years ago. It is more of a health issue not an energy saving issue. From an energy point of view, in the summer it only adds to the heat of the day by having the sun set later in the day when it is the hottest time of the day based on the clocks. So your AC runs longer because the sun sets later according to the clock. Years ago before the advent of AC IT may have served a purpose but not today. You actually have higher electric bills. Year round DST makes no sense. We had that in the mid 70's and people complained about very late sunrises in the morning. Just leave the clock on standard time and live your life and do not worry about when the sun rises or sets based on the clocks. Where I live we have been doing that for years and our body clock is just fine.

DST serves no purpose today

DST serves no purpose today. Needs to go away altogether.

DST

I personally love having some light outside when I leave work at 8pm , I enjoy sitting outside and relaxing or puttering around the yard. When it gets dark I feel like I've lost a whole day and I don't feel like getting anything around the house done because, well it's dark! It's ok during the winter because it's cool outside and not a lot to do in the yard , but the cold invigorates me and I want to start dressing the house for fall time and Christmas and those lights brighten my mood and house, but after the holidays I am checking to see when we spring forward. So I say make DST our new Standard time year round and stop with the hassle of changing our clocks 2 x a year!! I know everyone has their own opinion on what time would be the best but I really hate it being dark by 6PM during the winter. DST FOREVER 4ME!!! sorry if you don't agree :-)

Daylight savings time

Please stop this useless habit. It does not save energy.

Day light saving time

DST is ridiculous we can not bear it anymore Make summer time permanent pleaseeeeeee

Perception of Time

The amount of light doesn't change just because we change the clock. Moving the clock unnaturally extends our activity into the evening. Do I really need to be active in daylight all the way up to 9pm? I should be winding down. During the summer heat, I prefer to be more active in the morning, not the evening when heat peaks. The seasons cause a natural and gradual increase and decrease in daylight, whether we are on DST or not. Perhaps we should be changing our work schedules, much like farmers and other outdoor careers and tasks, to move with the daylight. Some studies suggest that exercise in the morning is linked to greater productivity, lower blood pressure, better metabolism and better sleep. Move with the natural rhythms. Why do we always need to fight against nature? Maybe we would be even happier.

Hate DST

I feel cheated. I hate DST and they keep extending it til now we are only on real time(Standard) for a little over 4 months. Leave it on Standard time. Our bodies are in tune with the sun, not the clock.

Keep Daylight Savings Time all year

Mornings are rushed, but evenings need are time for being outside. Kids need more outdoor time. We should adopt DST as our standard time.

Keep DST YEAR ROUND

Keep DST year round. A lot of people need the daylight for their health. It makes life easier when you work and have some daylight for a little while after work.

Daylight Savings Time

I am all for getting rid of Daylight Savings Time!

DST

GO BY NATURES CLOCK... NO MORE DST ... it only creates problems for health, economy and relationships!!!

Time change

I for one am sick and tired of the time change. Just leave our clocks alone. No more changing of our clocks.

Time change

Keep standard time standard it is the real time and we were ment to live by it keep it simple stupid!

Either or...just pick one and stick with it.

If I were to choose Standard or Daylight Savings Time, I would choose Standard. After reading the article, it seems states can choose to not participate in DST. That seems much simpler than having to go through congress to pass the bill. It is a ridiculous tradition that needs to just STOP!

Keep daylight savings all year

Daylight savings should stay it keep workers safe. It scares residents when a vehicle pulls up in there yard they are not aware of. Plus all the other statics.

DSL keeps SAD away!!

For the millions and millions of Seasonal Adjustment Disorder (SAD) patients, keeping daylight savings time (DST) year ‘round would reduce depression and potential suicide that comes from losing daylight hours at the end of the day, when most people have time to relax!!

DST vs Standard time

Keep standard time all year.

DST (Dark Waste Time)

Here is my comment from a no-count, unimportant perspective. There's a very small group of us that enjoy the night sky. I'm part of that group. I am what is known as an amateur astronomer. I enjoy the night sky through binoculars and telescopes, which I own several. I take pictures of objects millions of light years away through a telescope. This hobby is a night time hobby, obviously. During the summer, especially in June, it doesn't get dark enough to use a telescope until 10pm due to DST. Is waiting another hour important to me? Yes, it is. Do I play golf? Nope. Do I need to go to a convenience store at 10pm? Nope. Do I need to read a book outside at 10pm? Does anyone? And why is playing golf an extra hour or going to the convenience store more important than childrens safety at the bus stop during winter if DST is made permanent? If you were to ask your lawmakers if it would be dark at the bus stop, or daylight at the bus stop during December and January with permanent DST in effect, they wouldn't have a clue. All they know is that they have another hour of golf in the summer. Do you think the lawmakers asked our military how they would like it if we adopted PWT (Permanent Wrong Time)? It will be the wrong time, permanently. Clocks don't determine how much daylight we see every day. DST doesn't add another hour of daylight. The sun rises and sets with the seasons. The sun doesn't have a clock. Yes, standard time and keep it there.

our (rhythms)

historically humans arose with the sun and slept with the sun ( clocks are a recent invention) so we woke at slightly different times everyday (except near equator) our internal clocks are not time based. there is no such thing as a natural sleep pattern at this point. so settling on 1 and just living with it may be best.

Pages