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

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.


Get rid of it!! It messes with getting children to bed on time and it is just rediculous!

Time change

I don't care whether we use standard or daylight savings time; just pick one and stop changing it!

Standard time: Love it or LEAVE IT

For those of you who have trouble remembering, it's traumatic on young children to be subjected to what amounts to jet lag twice a year just so mommy and daddy can play later at night and companies can squeeze an extra buck out of the public. Let your children develop naturally and there will be less stress at bedtime and waking time now and more well adjusted adults in the future.
God gives us the changing seasons and varying daylight hours. If you can't deal with it, move to Equador, COMMIE.

interesting divergence in article

It's interesting how in the US part of the article, the preferred option is to shift permanently to DST, which means that the eastern US, for example would align on the Atlantic/Maritime Canada time zone, whereas the European part of the article is explicitly about eliminating DST. Yet the author does not seem to be picking up on this nuance. Indeed, in the second to last paragraph, the author makes it sound as if both Americans and Europeans want to abolish DST (instead of making in permanent). Curious!



It's only time

I'm retired. I go to bed when I want and get up when I want. I'm an early riser, so when I'm up at 5 a.m., in a few weeks I'll be getting up at 4 a.m.

I have to make myself stay up later, so I'll wake up at a more convenient hour.

The good news is every day is still a holiday and every meal a banquet!

1/2 hour change is the best compromise

I've long since thought changing by a half hour would be the best option, which was also mentioned by at least one other posted response. There are valid arguments on both sides for which to keep permanently.

Why does it have to be an hour one or the other? Split the difference and be done with it. That way everyone wins or everyone loses, depending on how you want to look at it. Maybe that approach would even pass through Congress!

daylight savings time

I don't care if it's regular time or daylight savings time. Just quit changing it back and forth. America loses too much productivity over lost sleep and I have been saying this for years!!!

Year-round DST yes; ending DST altogether, no

I love light later in the evenings, and I really don't care if it's dark in the mornings, when I can't enjoy being outside in any event. Early sunsets are depressing.

My strong first preference is year-round DST. Far and away, my last preference is abolishing DST. I would keep the status quo -- time changes -- as a way of avoiding my last preference.

I Hate DST!

Whatever reasons existed for the original implementation of DST, they are no longer relevant. I always hated it because it took so long for my body to make the shift. Except for the longest days of the year I have always gone to work in the dark and came home in the dark. I hated that my kids had to go to school in the dark when they were just beginning their day. And it took a while for them to make the switch. I envy the animals who follow the light while we foolish humans think we can control time, and nature. Boy, are we stupid.


I think we should have DST year round. Like someone said, there is only about 4 months difference. It’s much more convenient than the other. I live in Kentucky and I love DST!

It is incredibly ridiculous!

It's the most ridiculous idea. It's analogous to cutting 6 inches off the end of your blanket, and stitching it to the front of the blanket. When all you really need to do is shift the damn blanket! If people want to change their business hours of operation, so be it! They should have the individual right to do whatever makes the most economic sense FOR THEM. The main problem, as I see it, is that some major corporate businesses don't want to update their posted hours of operation twice per year. They prefer making the entire society change their clocks twice a year instead.

Daylight Saving Time verses Standard Time.

Why bother to change from daylight saving time to standard time. ( Two changes each year ). A pain! Essentially, standard time is only for 4 months, anyways. Why bother. Keep it all year on DST.

Petition to end the time changes going viral

Close to 200,000 people have signed to end biannual time changes. Medical experts have cited health risks and the practice is obsolete. #SickofSpringForward or #FinishedWithFallBack

Clock changes

I am a mid Michigan resident and livestock owner and I want the time to change back to standard and STAY there. Here in the north on DST our sunrise wont be until almost 9 am in November and December!!!


Make it easy. The changing of clocks twice a year is senseless. Change it once more by 1/2 hour and leave it there. Those that want DST get half of what they want and those that want Standard time get half of what they want.


My opinion is to end DST. That is, stay on standard time year round, NOT DST. Living in the Pacific Northwest means that in the winter the sun rises very late, almost 8:00AM. Staying on DST would push that time to nearly 9:00AM. Having sunlight in the morning makes it much easier to wake up. Having permanent DST isn't going to make the weather any more pleasant and springing forward in spring leads to increased fatigue and less productivity. If we're tired of springing forward and falling back then we should abandon DST altogether and stay on standard time permanently.

I like the way it is

Here in Boston, during the deepest part of the winter, the sun rises at around 7:13am (Standard Time). If we stayed on Daylight time, it wouldn't rise until 8:13am. That seems awfully late, and my kids would be leaving for school an hour before sunrise, and they would be in class for almost 45 minutes already before the sun even rises above the horizon. In the summer, I love the extra daylight time during the evenings when it's warm enough to enjoy being outdoors. While I do dislike coming home from work in the dark, I'd be doing that anyway, even if we stayed on Daylight time year-round (the earliest it sets is 4:11, and that would be 5:11 on Daylight time, when I'm still at work). I'm less likely to go outside when I get home in the winter anyway, because of the cold, so it's not a big deal. Keep it like it is, and we get reasonably light mornings in the winter, and nice long evenings in the summer.

Stay on Standard Time!

I live in Florida and would prefer DST to stop and stay on standard time all year long. The reality is that we only have so many hours of daylight in the winter, and it's a school safety issue for children to be going to school in the dark. Many people are working at home now, and so driving home in the dark isn't as much of an issue. Many people are home by dinner time when it is dark anyway. People are thinking of tourism here in Florida, but not about children's safety in the morning. I don't understand why people are actually thinking they are getting more sunlight. It's better as far as reducing energy consumption. We need to just stay on standard for the entire year and get rid of DST!

Stay on Standard time

Why on earth would Californians and other Pacific coast places want to be on Denver time? Mountain time zone is what we are equal to on PDT, and the place where that is closest to ‘real’ sun time is Denver (or, to put it another way, Denver is on the central meridian for its time zone.). California is actually very close to sun time when we are on Standard time, so let’s stay that way. Agreed this going back and forth is annoying. Let people who really want to do it adjust their own hours.

Daylight Savings

Thanks for an informative article. Even if DST is abolished, businesses and schools in various localities could adjust their schedules to times most appropriate to their region. While that might introduce more confusion, it is under local control. Today with international businesses and sports across time zone lines, we're getting used to scheduling with colleagues and friends taking into account their local time. While I personally like later sunsets. One would think that retirees could set their own time, but somehow we still seem to get forced into the local construct.


As A professional driver, I would prefer DST to be permanent, Why? Because People are well rested in the am and driving to work in the dusk are less likely to have an accident than they are driving home in the dark in a fatigued state. Also it gives people more time to enjoy the outdoors after work.