Daylight Savings Time, that yearly tradition where our clocks spring forward in March and fall back in November, is once again upon us. Most of us remember to change our clocks, some of us have to be reminded, but even fewer of us know why we even bother doing it in the first place. Daylight Savings Time (or DST, for short) was originally put into use during World War I as a means of conserving energy. Since we'd all be experiencing an extra hour of daylight, there'd be one fewer hour where artificial lighting was required.
It was brought back on a nationwide scale for World War II, but was mostly an issue for individual states to consider until the passage of the Uniform Time Act in 1966. That bill mandated all states either opt into Daylight Savings Time or opt out at their discretion. Any recognized Native American nations within the United States can choose to use DST or not as well.
Only two states chose to bypass DST and it became accepted practice throughout most of the country. DST is only to be used during the specific months as designated by the federal government, which means states hoping to enact DST throughout the year have been legally prohibited from doing so. But in the last few years, support for DST has dropped as the purpose for the practice has become less apparent. A 2019 poll by YouGov found that 54 percent of respondents favored abolishing Daylight Savings Time completely. Now, numerous states have attempted to push back against the Uniform Time Act and make DST permanent (against federal law) or opt out of it completely. In the past three years, nine states have passed legislation establishing permanent Daylight Savings Time, pending approval from the U.S. Congress.
Scroll down to see a list of every state's current policy on Daylight Savings Time and whether or not your state has legislation in the works to change it.
Status: Bill pending
HB 215 would establish permanent Daylight Savings Time, pending the approval of the U.S. Congress.
Status: Bill pending
Daylight Savings Time is a hot topic in America's northernmost state. There are, at present, three different bills pending in the Alaska statehouse. HB 43 would create an exemption from current federal Daylight Savings Time laws. It would also request the Department of Transportation set up public hearings to decide if Alaska should change time zones, with the potential of the state joining the Pacific Time Zone.
HB 17 and HB 292 are separate bills that would establish a permanent Daylight Savings Time, assuming federal law is changed.
The Uniform Time Act of 1966 gave states the right to opt out of Daylight Savings Time if approved by their state's legislature. Arizona chose to out out of Daylight Savings Time in 1967. This was done in order to cut down on fuel usage associated with air conditioning and cooling systems in oppressive desert heat. Another hour of sunlight during the active periods of the day would theoretically cause more people cooling more buildings.
Status: Bill passed making Daylight Savings Time permanent, pending congressional approval