(NEXSTAR) – Daylight saving time begins on Sunday, March 13, which means Americans in all but two states will put their clocks forward one hour and lose some sleep.
Not a summer time fan? Many lawmakers aren’t either, and have already launched attempts to prevent us from having to change our clocks. Since 2015, at least 350 DST bills and resolutions have been introduced in nearly every state, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Unfortunately, most of them did not succeed.
Federal law states that there are only two ways for the United States to abandon daylight saving time changes: Congress enacts a federal law, or a state or local government submits detailed information to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation “in support of his contention that the requested change would serve the convenience of commerce.”
Two states – Hawaii and most of Arizona – observe permanent standard time, meaning they don’t change their clocks at all.
Standard time is the period between November and March. As the rest of the United States switches to daylight saving time, Arizona and Hawaii actually change time zones – Arizona is moving from the Mountain Time Zone to the Pacific Time Zone, while Hawaii is moving from five hours to six hours behind Eastern time.
Which states are trying to stop daylight saving time?
Over the past four years, 18 states have enacted laws or resolutions to keep residents on daylight saving time year-round, pending congressional approval. In some cases, the legislation requires neighboring states to adopt similar legislation.
These states have already passed laws or resolutions to adhere to DST year-round:
- California (authorized by voters, not yet enacted)
- Caroline from the south
This year alone, nearly 30 states are considering DST legislation, according to the NCSL.
In some cases, even if the legislation is passed, it cannot go into effect until its neighbors do the same. In Iowa, for example, one of its pending bills states that the state cannot leave daylight saving time until Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska , South Dakota and Wisconsin pass similar legislation. To complicate matters, Nebraska’s pending law says it won’t change until three of its adjacent states pass similar laws.
There is also a difference between what some states are hoping for, according to the NCSL. While most want to stick with Daylight Savings Time all year round – meaning the time their clock is set from March to November becomes permanent – some want to stick with Daylight Savings Time. winter hour. These include Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Washington.
What is Congress doing about DST?
Congress passed the first DST legislation more than 100 years ago when then-President Woodrow Wilson signed the Calder Act. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, Americans were to set their clocks back to standard time on March 19, 1918, then move them forward one hour on March 31.
Two years later, dozens of cities adopted their own DST policies. By the mid-1960s, 18 states were observing daylight saving time while 12 were sticking to standard time. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, implementing the current daylight saving time that 48 states observe, reports the Smithsonian.
There are currently three bills in Congress regarding DST:
- HR 5826, which would allow states to choose to observe daylight saving time year-round.
- HR 5906, the DAYLIGHT Act, to allow states to observe daylight saving time year-round.
- S. 623, the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021, to make daylight saving time the new permanent standard time.
There are a few industries that seem to benefit from daylight saving time. Among these is the Chamber of Commerce, Michael Downing, a professor at Tufts University, explained in 2015. He said the Chamber “knew something very early on: if you give workers daylight, when they leave their jobs, they are much more likely to stop and shop on the way home.
The Department of Transportation now credits daylight saving time with energy conservation, accident prevention, and crime reduction.