How close is Utah to permanent daylight saving time?

Mar 12, 2023, 1:23 PM

The clock tower on the Salt Lake City-County Building is pictured on March 10, 2021. Daylight savin...

The clock tower on the Salt Lake City-County Building is pictured on March 10, 2021. Daylight saving time is on Sunday, when Utahns will have to move their clocks forward one hour. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Daylight saving time returns at 2 a.m. Sunday, so don’t forget to spring your clocks forward one hour despite the ongoing attempts in Utah and across the U.S. to end the century-old practice.

While Utah lawmakers passed a record number of bills this year, this issue was not mentioned once after a flurry of proposals over the last few years.

That’s because there haven’t been any major advancements since the Utah Legislature passed a bill in 2020 that would keep the Beehive State on daylight saving time year-round. The bill is contingent on Congress reforming the Uniform Time Act of 1966; at least four of 10 other Western states also have to pledge to do the same before the process can begin.

Here’s where the movement stands.

Several Western states have adopted similar legislation as Utah, according to a list that KING-TV in Seattle published Wednesday showing where all states stand on the matter. Those are:

  • Colorado
  • Idaho (northern half but not southern half — the northern half is on Pacific time)
  • Montana
  • Oregon (aside from Malheur County, which is on Mountain time)
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

The station adds that California, Nevada and New Mexico have kicked around the idea but have not passed legislation on the matter. Arizona, the other state that Utah’s law mentions, does not observe daylight saving time in the first place, aside from the Navajo Nation areas in the state.

Of course, it’s ultimately up to Congress to complete the change. The U.S. Senate did pass a bill last year that would have made daylight saving time permanent but it didn’t clear the House of Representatives in time to land on the president’s desk.

Reuters reported in November the proposed legislation hit a snag in the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where different U.S. regions — not political parties — were divided on the issue, according to Rep. Frank Pallone, D-New Jersey.

“There are a broad variety of opinions about whether to keep the status quo, to move to a permanent time, and if so, what time that should be,” he told the outlet.

Several federal lawmakers aren’t deterred. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, and a bipartisan group of U.S. senators reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act earlier this month, while a companion law was introduced in the House.

The law would keep everyone on daylight saving time year-round. It also mandates that Arizona, Hawaii and a handful of U.S. territories observe it, too.

“This ritual of changing time twice a year is stupid. Locking the clock has overwhelming bipartisan and popular support,” Rubio said in a statement on March 2. “I hope that we can finally get this done.”

However, you’ll have to keep adjusting your clocks until Congress can come to a consensus on the issue.

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How close is Utah to permanent daylight saving time?