Utah lawmakers urge Congress to end Daylight Saving Time
Still groggy from pushing your clocks forward this weekend? You might be happy to know that, if a new bill passes through Congress, you may never have to observe Daylight Saving Time again.
A bill from Utah’s Rep. Rob Bishop seeks to give states the right to get rid of Daylight Saving Time, and it’s already building up huge support here in our state.
On Monday, the Utah House of Representatives passed a joint resolution to throw their support behind Bishop’s Daylight Act. The resolution, which passed with the support of an overwhelming majority of our representatives, urges Congress to support the bill.
What’s wrong with Daylight Saving Time?
Daylight Saving Time might not seem like anything worse than a minor inconvenience, but that’s certainly not how the Utah lawmakers rallying to eliminate it see the issue.
Rep. Marsha Judkins, who co-sponsored the House Resolution to support Bishop’s bill, admitted as much in a conversation with the Deseret News, saying she realized that many would see the issue as “frivolous.”
For her, however, the issue is anything but. In the resolution, she outlines a whole catalog of negative health effects caused by Daylight Saving Time, each one supported by a scientific study, including:
- A 24 percent increase in heart attacks on the Monday after Daylight Saving Time
- Increased workplace injuries after Daylight Saving Time
- A 6.3 percent increase in fatal car accidents in the six days following Daylight Saving Time
- An 11 percent increase in hospitalizations over depressive episodes in the weeks after Daylight Saving Time
Bishop, likewise, sees the Daylight Act as part of a nobler struggle. For him, the right to stop changing our clocks is a matter of state’s rights.
“We are reinforcing the state’s power to govern by loosening the grip held by the federal government,” he’s said in a video pushing his bill. “For any student of federalism, this is a no-brainer.”
True to his vision of state sovereignty, the Daylight Act would not force any state to get rid of Daylight Saving Time. Instead, it would allow each state to choose for itself whether or not they want to participate.
But like every political issue, there are two sides to Daylight Saving Time. Not everybody is convinced that the studies cited in Judkins’ resolution are entirely accurate; in fact, Popular Mechanics has released a detailed article criticizing nearly every one she cited.
His focus on state sovereignty would, likewise, complicate time zones across the United States. If passed as Bishop intends it, his bill would require anyone working with another state to figure out both their time zone and whether they’ve pushed their clocks back to find out the time.
Bishop does, however, appear to won over one very important supporter. President Donald Trump has tweeted his support for the Daylight Act:
Making Daylight Saving Time permanent is O.K. with me!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 11, 2019
With the support of the President and the Representatives of Utah behind it, Bishop’s bill might stand a chance. You just might end up remembering last Sunday as the last time you ever had to change your clocks.
More to the story
Today, KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovoic talked about Bishop’s bill and the little-known reasons why the United States adopted Daylight Saving Time in the first place.
If you missed what their insights live on the air, you can still catch every word on the Dave & Dujanovic podcast.