The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

A bunch of states want to get rid of daylight saving time. Is your state one of them?

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

If you feel groggy, grumpy and tired, and (rightly) blame daylight saving time for your woes, take solace in this: You're not alone, and politicians are taking note.

Elected officials in a dozen states are currently considering legislation to opt out of changing the clocks, either by remaining permanently on daylight saving time or standard time. Standard time is in place from November to mid-March, after which time (see what we did there?) clocks move one hour ahead to daylight saving time, leaving eight months with later sunrises and sunsets.

Time can be quite a controversial issue. In 2005, then Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R) suffered some political blowback after he pushed hard for the state to universally adopt daylight saving time. Opponents to daylight saving time say that it causes a major disruption to sleep and that the switch is associated with an increase in workplace accidents and other health risks.

The Uniform Act of 1966 established daylight saving time throughout the United States, but states can opt out, and two already have: Hawaii and Arizona. Here's a look at states that are considering opting out or otherwise changing how they observe time:


The state is permanently on standard time. A Republican representative has proposed putting the state on daylight saving time year-round instead, but it appears Arizonians like their clocks as they are and the lawmaker withdrew the bill in January.

"I have received many responses to the proposed bill, and while some have favored it, the majority of the feedback has been against the idea for various reasons," Rep. Phil Lovas said in a statement, the Arizona Republic reported.


This state may very well be on its way to opting out of daylight saving time. On Wednesday, the Alaska  Senate approved a bill ending daylight saving time, which comes years after a similar, less successful, effort. But a group of lawmakers from the southeastern corner of the state voted against the measure. If the bill makes it through the state house and to the governor's desk, the Transportation Department could approve an exemption request for southeast Alaska, reports NBC affiliate KTUU.

The Alaska measure was introduced by Sen. Anna MacKinnon (R), who says it's a health, safety and education issue. Not everyone is so convinced. State Sen. Bert Stedman (R), who argued that the change would hurt the state's economy, said, "I might get a heart attack here debating this issue, but not from changing the time zone."


The "Sunshine Protection Act" has made a comeback in the Florida State Senate, where Democratic Sen. Darren Soto is making his push once again despite saying he doesn't think the measure will pass this year. The bill would put Florida on daylight saving time year-round, and Soto is more hopeful of its 2016 prospects.

"There’s no house companion this year, I only filed it again because it’s been very popular. It was the second most reviewed bill on the Florida Senate website last year," Soto said, WFSU reported.


House Majority Leader Mike Moyle is tired of clocks changing in Idaho. Oh, and for those of you who still erroneously believe that farmers are to blame, Moyle said he objects to the change as a farmer himself.

Last week, he had to withdraw his bill to put Idaho permanently on daylight saving time over legality concerns, the Spokesman-Review reported. He has also tried in the past to get Idaho on standard time year-round.

“The intent was, I don’t care which one it is, to get it out there and get a resolution,” Moyle said, according to the Spokesman-Review.


State Rep. Bill Mitchell (R) said he was inspired to introduce a bill to end daylight saving time in Illinois after a newspaper ran an that lamented the clock change. Then, an 80-year-old retiree contacted him, saying she wanted it gone.

"I think it affects everyone's circadian rhythm. I just don't think its necessary," resident Marilyn Smith said, the Herald-Review reported. "It's just a pain. If our lawmakers could do one thing to make us happy, well ..."

Mitchell's bill hasn't gone anywhere yet.


Democratic state Rep. Jeff Irwin has introduced a measure that would have the state permanently observe standard time. "As we have all experienced this week, changing schedules for daylight saving time is stressful and unnecessary," he said, MLive reported.


The proposal in Missouri would put the decision to the voters. A House committee hearing in Missouri on Monday took up a constitutional amendment that would ask voters whether to permanently put the state on daylight saving time. If approved, clocks would change one last time in May 2017.

New Mexico

A proposal to keep the state on daylight saving time for good made it through the State Senate's Public Affairs Committee and is now waiting in the Judiciary Committee, the Albuquerque Journal reported.

"I have seen reports that show changing the time twice a year has an adverse affect on people’s health,” sponsor state Sen. Cliff Pirtle (R) said in a statement. “When the time changes, people experience more mishaps, accidents and even more heart attacks. Sometimes, no change is good.”


A Senate bill introduced in January would have voters decide whether to abolish daylight saving time by 2021.

“It seems like out of the blue I’ve been getting an earful from people around the state saying, ‘why are we still doing this?’ I didn’t wake up one day and say, ‘hey, we just need to kill this thing,'” state Sen. Kim Thatcher (R) told KOIN. “But the more I looked into it there really isn’t a lot of rationale for keeping it, other than just personal preference, and that’s why I say, let’s just send it to the voters and see what they say.”


This report from the NBC Dallas affiliate about a bill to exempt Texas from daylight saving time is outstanding and we will just excerpt it here:

State Rep. Dan Flynn (R) said he proposed House Bill 150 because there is no point in setting clocks ahead.
"What is the use in having this?" he asked. "And no one has a good reason."


A proposal to end daylight saving time is languishing in a state House committee. “The Rules chairman just said there’s other controversies going on and so there may have been lots of different things on the plate," bill sponsor Rep. Lee Perry (R) told the Salt Lake City Fox affiliate.

That doesn't mean lawmakers aren't hearing about daylight saving time from constituents.

“All of us are receiving emails,” Republican House Speaker Greg Hughes told the Fox station. “People do have an opinion about daylight savings. I don’t know where that goes, I honestly don’t. All kidding aside, I think it becomes hard when you get yourself out of a time zone.”


Washington came to daylight saving time by a razor-thin margin in 1960, when about 51 percent of voters approved a measure to join 14 other states in observing the time switch.

A pair of state House and Senate bills would do away with that ballot measure and put Washington on standard time year-round. Proponents say it will reduce car crashes and heart attacks. The Senate bill died in committee last month.

The House bill faced opposition from a committee chair, Democratic Rep. Sam Hunt. He killed a similar measure before, and the Associated Press described him as "a man who enjoys late summer sunsets."

[This post has been updated to clarify Washington State's proposals]  


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