Patchwork Approach to 2018 Daylight Saving Time Exemptions Bills

Daylight Saving Time is a contentious topic. While many people like the semi-annual time change, others would prefer abolishing the practice and sticking with the same time all year round.

Not confusing enough

While Arizona and Hawaii are currently the only two states within the U.S. that do not observe Daylight Saving Time, lawmakers in many states have considered doing away with it themselves. Federal law currently allows a state to determine whether it will observe Daylight Saving Time or exempt itself, and several states are thinking about opting out.

As of this writing, there are 17 states with bills pending in their legislatures that would abolish the advancement of time by one hour between the second Sunday of March and the first Sunday of November. Several of these are effectively dead, having been introduced early in 2017 with little or no advancement since then, while others are still working their way towards becoming law.

Two states nominally in the same time zone ending up permanently an hour apart due to permanent adoption of either daylight time or standard time could be pretty confusing. For example, the bill pending in Florida would put the state permanently on Eastern Daylight Saving Time while Virginia would do the opposite and stay perpetually on Eastern Standard Time.

Here’s an overview of the bills currently making their way through the State legislatures:

Pending Bills

Alabama is considering HB185 , which would place a constitutional amendment to exempt the state from Daylight Savings Time on the ballot for voter approval. The bill was referred to committee on January 11, 2018.

Florida SB858 , originally written to abolish Daylight Saving Time in favor of standard time for each time zone in the state, would as of this writing request the U.S. Department of Transportation consolidate the state entirely into eastern time and establish the intent of the legislature to permanently adopt Eastern Daylight Saving Time as the standard time within the state.

Kansas HB2519 , which was referred to committee on 1/23/2018, would abandon Daylight Saving Time and permanently adopt Central Standard Time effective upon the end of Daylight Saving Time in 2018.

Mississippi HB412 was sent to committee on January 5th, 2018 and would permanently adopt Daylight Saving Time as of July 1st.

New York A06937 , referred to the governmental operations committee in March 2017 and again nearly 14 months later in January 2018, would put the state on Eastern Standard Time permanently starting in 2020.

Oklahoma SB1108 , scheduled to be read for the first time on February 5th, 2018, would keep the state on Daylight Saving Time rather than end it as scheduled in November of this year.

South Carolina H4684 would make the March 11, 2018 advancement from standard time to daylight saving time the permanent ‘Eastern Standard Time’ within the state, and was referred to committee on January 24th of this year.

South Dakota HB1179 would permanently adopt standard time for each time zone within the state, but only once each of the six states that border it have enacted legislation abandoning Daylight Saving Time. It was referred to committee on January 24th, 2018.

Tennessee’s SB1849 and HB1881 , which replace earlier bills withdrawn due to wording errors, would permanently establish daylight saving time and were both passed upon first consideration in the House and Senate on January 25th, 2018.

Virginia HB1330 was introduced on January 10th, 2018 with the objective of permanently establishing Eastern Standard Time within the state, but has not advanced since its introduction.

Wyoming HB45 would seek to move the state from mountain time to central time and then abandon daylight savings time, with the net effect of permanently establishing Mountain Daylight Saving Time. The bill was prefiled and will be considered after the legislature convenes on February 12th, 2018.

Resolution

Utah is debating a resolution wherein the state would consider a move from mountain time to central time and abandon daylight savings time, resulting in a permanent 'mountain daylight time' similar to the bill prefiled in Wyoming.

Dead or Appears Dead

Iowa HF206 and SF168 were both referred to committee in the second week of February in 2017 and have gone nowhere since then. Both bills proposed to abandon Daylight Saving Time and adopt Central Standard Time year-round.

Michigan HB4011 sought to consolidate the parts of the state on Central time into Eastern time, and while the bill summary claims the state would then adopt “eastern daylight time as the time zone for the state”, the text of the bill itself would have established Eastern Standard Time instead which may have contributed to its stagnation since mid-January of 2017.

Nebraska LB309 aimed to abandon Daylight Saving Time effective as of the first day of 2018, but after a committee hearing scheduled for March 3, 2017 never happened the bill appeared to have died.

Vermont S148 was introduced on April 12, 2017 to drop Daylight Saving Time and permanently adopt Eastern Standard Time, but never advanced beyond that point.

Washington SB5329 and HB2169 both would have exempted the state from Daylight Saving Time and permanently adopted Pacific Standard Time, but despite being reintroduced multiple times have not advanced any further.

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