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Why respect summer time?

(NEXSTAR) — While we are just beginning to enjoy the changing of the leaves, we will soon experience a less desirable change: the semi-annual changing of our clocks.

Maybe you won’t manually change the clocks in your home, but instead set them back an hour when Daylight Saving Time ends.

As you grimace at the thought of the additional darkness we will soon experience when the clocks change, you may be wondering, “Why do we still observe daylight saving time?” » This is a fairly simple question with a slightly more complex answer.

This is not to say that efforts have not been made to end daylight saving time altogether.

We’ve had a back-and-forth relationship with DST since the early 1900s. At first, it was a wartime measure that was repealed in 1919, according to the University of Colorado in Boulder. It was reinstated in 1942 during World War II before Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966 to make twice-yearly clock changes the norm.

In 1973, we tried to observe daylight saving time year-round to combat the national energy crisis. Americans liked it at first, but it quickly turned unfavorable as parents began to worry about traffic accidents and the safety of their children, who now went to school before sunrise . In the fall of 1974, President Gerald Ford signed a bill to return the United States to standard time for four months.

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Since then, state and federal lawmakers have made efforts to stop changing the clocks.

This year alone, lawmakers in nearly 30 states have attempted to end DST, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In most cases, these efforts have failed or stalled.

As of September 2023, states that have passed laws or resolutions in the past year include Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina , Tennessee and Utah. Kentucky and Mississippi have approved legislation, while Massachusetts has commissioned studies on the issue. California voters authorized a change last year, but no legislative action was taken.

So far this year, DST legislation has been introduced in 29 states, NCSL reports. Although many of them have stalled in the state Legislature, many have not passed. In Oklahoma, the Senate passed a bill to establish year-round daylight saving time and sent it back to the House, which took no action on it. A House bill in Texas met a similar fate and has been stalled in the Senate since May.

Whether or not the bills passed, or whether they seek permanent daylight saving time or standard time, there isn’t much hope for states to lock the clocks without Congress does not act at the federal level.

Under the Uniform Time Act, the United States only has two ways to abandon the DST change. Either Congress must enact federal law or a state or local government must obtain permission from the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to remain on permanent standard time – which the United States observes between November and March – and not at permanent summer time.

Numerous bills have been introduced in Congress this year to prevent the time change.

In March, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced the Sunshine Protection Act of 2023, which would make daylight saving time permanent, starting in November. Although the bill received bipartisan support in the Senate, it was referred to the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and has remained there since.

In a statement to Nexstar shared via email Thursday, Rubio said, “This bill has bipartisan support, and I hope we can finally get it done.” »

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., introduced a bill that would allow states to observe daylight saving time year-round. Rep. Ralph Norman, R-SC, introduced a similar bill that also called for the Government Accountability Office to provide Congress with the results of a study on the implementation of daylight saving time throughout the ‘year. Both were referred to the Subcommittee on Innovation, Data and Commerce in March and remain there.

“It’s frustrating that the committee won’t bring this up for a hearing or a markup because it’s such a bipartisan and widely supported issue.” No matter who you are or what you believe, DST affects everyone,” Norman said in a statement shared by Nexstar via email Thursday.

Rogers did not immediately respond to Nexstar’s request for comment.

Ultimately, without Congressional action, the majority of the United States will continue to observe Daylight Saving Time and the tradition of changing clocks twice a year. And as lawmakers work to prevent a government shutdown before the end of September, the future of either of the aforementioned bills appears bleak.

Daylight saving time ends on November 5.


whnt

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
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