Time changes evaluated in 12 states

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Wednesday, February 08, 2017

As the annual ritual nears to change clocks forward, state lawmakers from at least a dozen states are talking about whether the observance of daylight saving time is worth continuing.

States reviewing legislation to exempt them from time changes stretch from Maine to Washington. Currently, Arizona and Hawaii are the lone states not to take part in time changes.

Advocates for Daylight Saving Time say it saves the U.S. approximately 0.5 percent energy each day it is used. Critics counter the time changes may have been useful for some during a bygone era, but provide little if any real benefit.

In most cases across the country state lawmakers are pursuing rules that would permit their states to eliminate the spring time change.

State lawmakers in Colorado and New Mexico would allow their states to join neighboring Arizona in not recognizing DST. An effort underway in Nebraska would also authorize the state to ignore time changes.

In Missouri, a House joint resolution would leave the final decision on the state’s observance of DST to others outside the Show-Me State.

The state’s voters decide whether to pursue an exemption from time changes. If approved by voters, the state would delay adoption of the rule until any two of Missouri’s eight adjacent states also act to do away with DST recognition.

A proposal in the state of Washington would eliminate DST and stick with Pacific Standard Time all year. One Montana bill would do the same for yearlong recognition of Mountain Standard Time.

One Michigan bill calls for petitioning the U.S. DOT to include the entire state within the Eastern Time zone and abandon time changes. A portion of the Upper Peninsula is in the Central Time zone.

Similarly, a North Dakota bill would drop the state from the list of states with two time zones. Specifically, the measure calls for uniform recognition of the Central Standard Time.

Connecticut has bills to adopt Standard Time year-round while a separate effort would keep the state on DST all year.

Maine and New Hampshire have efforts to change the state’s time zone from Eastern Time to Atlantic Time. The legislation would also exempt the states from the twice-annual time changes.

And a Wyoming bill would exempt the state from time changes, and instead it would stay on DST year-round.

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