Permanent daylight saving time one step closer after Senate approves Sunshine Protection Act

Mar 15, 2022, 2:16 PM | Updated: 2:19 pm
FILE: (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)...
FILE: (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is one step closer to moving to permanent Mountain Daylight Time after the U.S. Senate unanimously approved the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 on Tuesday.

The act, which was introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., now moves to the House of Representatives. If approved and signed into law by President Joe Biden, states would be allowed to remain on daylight saving time year-round, beginning in 2023.

Current federal law requires states to change clocks biannually between standard time and DST on federally mandated dates, and it permits states to opt-out of daylight saving time observation and remain on permanent standard time. It does not currently permit observation of permanent daylight saving time.

“You’ll see it’s an eclectic collection of members of the United States Senate in favor of what we’ve just done here in the Senate, and that’s to pass a bill to make daylight savings time permanent,” Rubio said Tuesday. “Just this past weekend, we all went through that biannual ritual of changing the clock back and forth and the disruption that comes with it. And one has to ask themselves after a while why do we keep doing it?”

#LockTheClock in Utah

In 2020, the Utah Legislature passed SB59, which will move the Beehive State to permanent daylight saving if:

  • Congressional approval is given
  • At least four Western states also pass legislation to move to year-round daylight saving time

Rubio’s bill would go into effect in November 2023. He said the delay would give the transportation industry additional time to make necessary adjustments.

“If we can get this passed, we don’t have to keep doing this stupidity anymore,” added Rubio added.

California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming have passed legislation that would move their states to permanent daylight saving time with their neighbors following congressional approval.

Lawmakers in Alaska are considering similar legislation while Colorado lawmakers are considering a bill that would eliminate daylight saving time in 2023.

Rep. Marsha Judkins, R-Provo, told the Deseret News in 2020 that the most important thing the state can do is to stop changing the clocks. She said corresponded with hundreds of people about the issue and found the majority would prefer to have more daylight in the afternoon.

Sunday’s daylight saving time change can bring danger to Utah roads 

“For a lot of people it doesn’t really matter, but there are a lot of people for whom this really is a difficult, difficult change,” Judkins said. “It’s because of their children, because of their jobs, and because of their medication schedules — a lot of things and it really does affect people in a bad way.”

Polls have shown most people want to do away with changing their clocks twice a year.

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Permanent daylight saving time one step closer after Senate approves Sunshine Protection Act