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house Bill H.R. 1601

Should States Get to Decide How to Handle Daylight Saving Time?

Argument in favor

States should be able to set their own daylight saving time policies based on their residents’ needs if they want to do so.

Kodiwodi's Opinion
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03/08/2020
Up until now the National Government has been unwilling to do anything about this highly unpopular and unhealthy program. They have been perfectly willing to let the states piecemeal it together so we already have a patchwork quilt of time zones. For you always screaming states rights this is how it would be for even more important things.
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KyleCorley's Opinion
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03/08/2020
Yes states should decide if the federal government is not going to make the decision. Where is the evidence that changing the clocks help? The evidence that I have seen is that it actually is worse for the individual.
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Esther's Opinion
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03/08/2020
I hate daylight saving time. There’s no necessity for it.
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Argument opposed

Allowing states to make their own policies on daylight saving time was a disaster after WWII, and it shouldn’t be repeated now.

Waitingtill18's Opinion
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03/08/2020
If we get rid of daylight savings, it needs to be on the national level. Certain states not doing it will create confusion and add difficultyi
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Lisa's Opinion
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03/08/2020
Either everyone goes with standard time, or everyone leaves it as is. It’s too complex to go state by state.
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Glowurm's Opinion
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03/08/2020
No. How confusing would that be? Just stop it across the country. Enough already. Leave it so there’s more light in the mornings and be done with it. Who’s idea was this anyway? Not needed these days... Right on, MoonRiver! 👏🏻👏🏻👍🏻👍🏻😊. My sentiments, exactly, Kodiwodi! Let there be more daylight in the morning. The kids, need more daylight in the morning than in the evening. Hope your husband is doing better. 🙏🏻❤️
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What is House Bill H.R. 1601?

This bill — the Daylight Act — would empower states to decide how daylight saving time will be observed. It would allow states to determine whether they will continue under the status quo, operate year-round under daylight saving time, or operate year-round under standard time.

Currently, states are prohibited from operating under year-round daylight saving time. They are, however, allowed to opt out of Daylight Time, which Arizona and Hawaii have done.

Impact

U.S. residents; states; and daylight saving time.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1601

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to empower states to decide how daylight saving time will be observed. When he introduced this bill in the 115th Congress in July 2018, Rep. Bishop said:

“For any student of federalism, this is a no-brainer. The range of industry and lifestyle is so varied across our country, it only makes sense for states to have the ability to set their watches the way they best see fit. The Daylight Act simply allows states the freedom to pursue one of these three options. This bill will not force any action nor compel a state to take any action. Quite simply, this gives people the flexibility to do what they want. We are reinforcing the states’ power to govern by loosening the grip held by the federal government.”   

In March 2019, the Utah state legislature passed House Joint Resolution 15, expressing its support for this bill. Rep. Marsha Judkins (R-Provo), notes that there are over 30 states with more than 60 bills this year addressing setting the clocks forward and back and says:

“Some people might think it’s a frivolous thing, but it really does have impacts—some very detrimental impacts to change our clocks. I am not going to argue whether we should go to standard time or daylight saving time year round, but I’m just going to say that changing our clock has real impacts to our health, to our psychological health and to our society, to our productivity.”

Judkins also points out that there’s no scientific data to support changing clocks twice a year:

“There are pros and cons to both standard time and daylight saving time, staying on those year round, but there’s no scientific data to support changing our clocks twice a year that it has any benefit to us whatsoever.”

The day after Daylight Saving time in 2019, President Trump tweeted his support for permanent daylight saving time, tweeting, “Making Daylight Saving Time permanent is O.K. with me!”

Brian Anderson, who testified against Utah House Joint Resolution 15 as an advocate for changing the clocks twice a year, contended that it’s not hard or time-consuming to make the adjustment, and most people get a different amount of sleep night to night, anyway:

“Nobody complains about getting the hour of sleep in the fall, but when you lose it in the spring, people think that’s dangerous or bad. I’d be hard-pressed to point to anybody that gets the same hours of sleep every night.”

Michael Downing, a lecturer at Tufts University and author of the book “Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time,” notes that golf and business interests are the biggest proponents of daylight saving time. He says:

“In fact, school children and their advocates have always opposed daylight saving because by moving the clocks forward we get less morning sunlight and children are out on dark streets. The same goes for the farmers. I always thought we did it for the farmers and that I was assisting American agriculture in some way every spring. It turns out, the farmers has always hated daylight saving. [Golf is] the most important reason we're still doing and expanding the period of daylight saving time. Since 1915, the principal supporter of daylight saving in the United States has been the Chamber of Commerce on behalf of small business and retailers. The Chamber understood that if you give workers more sunlight at the end of the day they'll stop and shop on their way home. It's not just golf—the barbecue industry loves daylight savings, so do the home good stores because people tend to go out of their houses, see that their roofs need replacing and buy more shingles. It's a really important part of niche marketing for the retail industry."

Downing concludes that daylight saving works as a practice, but it has a downside of increased gas consumption:

“Americans really do leave their houses when there's more sunlight after work. "But here's the problem: We're told we're saving energy, but when Americans go outside and go to the park and go to the mall, we don't walk—we get in our cars and drive. So for the past 100 years, the dirty secret is daylight saving increases gasoline consumption."

Downing’s conclusions about who benefits from daylight saving time bear out when looking at who opposes ending the practice: businesses based on spending time outdoors, such as the golf and barbecue industries, consistently oppose the idea, citing increased profits during the extended periods of daylight. In a 2017 hearing in Nebraska, concern for the golf industry was even stressed as a reason for the state not to opt out of daylight saving time.

One common concern cited in debates over ending or otherwise altering daylight saving time practices is that it could make zoning “exceedingly complicated,” so “the changes [could] sandwich some states between time zone boundaries and state clusters that are defying the bi-annual clock shifts. And for some parts of the year, adjacent time zones could even be two hours apart, rather than the regular one hour difference. Someone living just over a time boundary could conceivably leave work at 6 p.m., drive for 15 minutes, and arrive home at 8:15 p.m.”

This bill has two bipartisan cosponsors, including two Democrats and two Republicans, in the 116th Congress. In the 115th Congress, it didn’t have any cosponsors and didn’t receive a committee vote.


Of NoteDaylight saving time in the U.S. began in 1918 as an attempt to save energy during WWI, following Germany’s earlier shift in 1916. The idea was to maximize sunlight hours during the longer days of the year by taking an hour of morning sun, when many are sleeping, and adding it to the end of the day. Year-round daylight saving time was then implemented during WWII, initially leading to it being called “War Time.”

When the U.S. wasn’t at war, the states did what they wanted with daylight saving, choosing whether and when to change the clocks. However, the patchwork of time zones caused problems, as TV stations, transportation agencies, and other nationwide industries struggled to keep pace with shifting clocks.

To deal with this problem, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 was passed to impose a uniformity of time observance across the U.S., including setting the beginning and end of daylight saving time. Though later amendments have shifted the exact start and stop dates, this act continues to regulate the time changes today.

Rep. Bishop’s office notes that “dozens” of state legislatures have introduced or passed legislation to change or study the current time system.

Some of the impacts of daylight saving time, and the paired “falling back” of clocks in the fall, include higher risk of heart attacks, fatal car crashes, harsher judicial sentences, and more epileptic seizures after time shifts. Proponents of ending daylight saving time also argue that ending the practice would reduce energy use and aid agriculture.

However, University of California professor Severin Borenstein disagrees with those who believe ending daylight saving time would be beneficial, blogging that “permanent [daylight saving time] would likely lead to more pedestrian accidents on winter mornings, as more adults and children venture out in darkness, with the sun rising as late as 8:21 AM.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / voloshin311)

AKA

Daylight Act

Official Title

To allow States to elect to observe daylight savings time for the duration of the year, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
    IntroducedMarch 7th, 2019
    Up until now the National Government has been unwilling to do anything about this highly unpopular and unhealthy program. They have been perfectly willing to let the states piecemeal it together so we already have a patchwork quilt of time zones. For you always screaming states rights this is how it would be for even more important things.
    Like (41)
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    If we get rid of daylight savings, it needs to be on the national level. Certain states not doing it will create confusion and add difficultyi
    Like (99)
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    Either everyone goes with standard time, or everyone leaves it as is. It’s too complex to go state by state.
    Like (60)
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    No. How confusing would that be? Just stop it across the country. Enough already. Leave it so there’s more light in the mornings and be done with it. Who’s idea was this anyway? Not needed these days... Right on, MoonRiver! 👏🏻👏🏻👍🏻👍🏻😊. My sentiments, exactly, Kodiwodi! Let there be more daylight in the morning. The kids, need more daylight in the morning than in the evening. Hope your husband is doing better. 🙏🏻❤️
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    This has been tried before with disastrous commercial, economic, and health consequences. The health consequences of shifting back and forth from daylight to standard time continue. I’m sure someone will politicize this and make it a state’s rights issue when it absolutely is not. A permanent shift needs to be made, but why to daylight time? From an article in the AP: “Circadian biologists believe ill health effects from daylight saving time result from a mismatch among the sun “clock,” our social clock — work and school schedules — and the body’s internal 24-hour body clock. Ticking away at the molecular level, the biological clock is entrained — or set — by exposure to sunlight and darkness. It regulates bodily functions such as metabolism, blood pressure and hormones that promote sleep and alertness. Disruptions to the body clock have been linked with obesity, depression, diabetes, heart problems and other conditions. Circadian biologists say these disruptions include tinkering with standard time by moving the clock ahead one hour in the spring. A mismatch of one hour daily is enough for ill effects, especially if it lasts for several months, according to Till Roenneberg, a circadian rhythm specialist at Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, Germany.” We need to do away with the time shifts, but for our own health the permanent solution needs to be staying on standard time.
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    No, States should not decide their own Daylight Savings Policy. That would cause all sorts of difficulties with meetings, contacting out of state relatives or businesses and, well, just a whole lot of useless wasted time and effort. I do not mind Daylight Savings Time personally, I think it is good to have young kids come and go to school in daylight and I enjoy the later DST afternoons. China, the whole country, was and I believe still is all considered in to be in the same time zone; putting folks in 4 or 5 hours different ‘solar’ times- and I would not care for that level of simplification here. Either we should have or should not have DST across the entire country - it should have nothing to do with what the States or Cities or individuals want, if we are to remain a civil society and not devolve into bands of Hunter-Gatherer nomads. … … … As far as the circadian arguments, there are a couple of issues that need consideration. First, any two people at opposite ends of the same time zone are by definition, out of synch by one hour in solar ‘circadian’ time. People on the Eastern edge of a time zone have daylight an hour earlier than people on Western edge of the same time zone; what may be ‘best’ on the Eastern edge may not be what is ‘best’ on the Western edge and the overall ‘best’ is somewhere in between. Secondly, since I am retired and on no fixed schedule - I find myself waking up and going to bed earlier as Spring rolls in, the hour change for daylight savings time fits very well with how I am naturally changing my sleep cycle anyway- so, to me anyway, it fits the circadian rhythm concept. For those with fixed work schedules however, I can see DST being disruptive.
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    Too confusing for business & travel!
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    Gods no. Chaos unending. Just get rid of DST all together.
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    Ordinarily, I would disagree, but this does affect interstate commerce, and thus should be something that should be at the National Level.
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    Just get rid of it all together.
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    Just pick a time nationwide & stick with it!
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    Turning the Daylight saving time into a hodge podge just increases confusion. We soyld just do away with the time switch all together.
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    Unfortunately, this would be exceedingly confusing. If it is to be ended, it should be on a national level.
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    Just leave it like it is. If you have states all doing different things it will be impossible to keep track of standard time zones which when there is interstate commerce and business, consistency is needed. As it stands now, states have the ability to conduct business with equal advantage for all states considering the day light hours and sunrise/sunset. If it changes, it will be disadvantageous you many localities.
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    It would create chaos like the deranged person in the White House !
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    I’m tired of this “and sometimes Arizona” crap. You’d think a country as advanced as the United States could at least have it together enough that we all know what time it is, but no. We have to play games. Let’s either have DST or not have it; but let’s all have the same rules. Last fall I couldn’t check into my hotel room in Arizona because I got there a half hour too late. I thought I was a half hour early. MAD??!!
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    Really! Changing time twice per year is antiquated. Pick a "standard" time for a region, stick to it, and INCLUDE the entire state in any region. (There are eleven states, each with different times zones in in them; weird when the neighbor across the street is in a different time zone. I currently live in Arizona, which is the ONLY state where the time does NOT change (half the year we’re Mountain and the other half Pacific.) I work from home on a team with members in several of the eleven US time zones. Therefore, throughout the year, Eastern time is either two or three hours ahead, Central is either one or two hours ahead, Mountain time is either the same or one hour earlier, and Pacific time is either the same or one hour later. It can get confusing.
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    Everyone should be on the same time sequence but Daylight Savings Time should be discontinued. It has been linked to a host of mental and physical health issues. It can put people at greater risk for cardiovascular conditions and is the reason why some individuals experience seasonal affective disorder. Although it was invented to save energy, we actually use more electricity once DST starts.
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    Yes states should decide if the federal government is not going to make the decision. Where is the evidence that changing the clocks help? The evidence that I have seen is that it actually is worse for the individual.
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    No. Get Rid of daylight savings time . In the winter (JimK) kids would be going to school in the DARK FOR 3 MONTHS. As a teacher & a parent & grandparent I worry every time kids have to walk or wait in the dark for a bus. 37 kids went missing from one state last month. There is no safe place for little kids anymore. Daylight Savings Time is not needed as it was for farmers to have more light to work. Getting up earlier will work just the same. Changing time is hard in people. Many more heart attacks happen on change time Daylight Savings Time. Getting kids to bed when it’s still light at 9:00 pm and that’s hard in learning, teachers & parents. It makes no sense anymore.
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