Permanent time observation in the United States

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  Observes DST
  Does not observe DST

Permanent standard time refers to the year-round observation of standard time. Likewise, permanent daylight saving time refers to the year-round observation of daylight saving time (DST). Both permanent standard time and permanent DST eliminate the practice of semi-annual clock changes, specifically the advancement of clocks by one hour from standard time to DST in spring (commonly called "spring forward") and the retraction of clocks by one hour from DST to standard time in fall ("fall back").

The Uniform Time Act of 1966 formalized the specification of time zones and the dates of DST observation in the United States. Prior to this law, time zones and DST observation in America were independent and erratic across states and cities.[1][2] The law requires states to change clocks semiannually between standard time and DST on federally mandated dates, and it permits states to opt out of DST observation altogether and remain on permanent standard time, but does not permit observation of permanent DST.[3] Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation), Hawaii, and all permanently inhabited territories observe permanent standard time.

Studies have shown the semi-annual clock changes result in sleep disturbances, ultimately resulting in more health problems and traffic accidents.[4][5] Legislators in 25 states have attempted to switch to either permanent standard time or permanent DST. Currently more states are pursuing permanent DST.[6]

Permanent standard time[edit]

Prior to the introduction of DST in 1967, all American states observed permanent Standard Time. Currently in the US, Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Nation), Hawaii, and all permanently inhabited territories (American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands) observe permanent standard time.[7] A number of states have proposed bills to restore observation of permanent standard time, but few have gained ground as of yet.[8][9][6]

Possible benefits and disadvantages of standard time[edit]

Permanent standard time is considered by circadian health researchers and safety experts worldwide to be the best option for health, safety, schools, and economy, including the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, National Sleep Foundation, American College of Chest Physicians, National Safety Council, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Canadian Sleep Society, World Sleep Society, Society for Research on Biological Rhythms, and several state sleep societies.[10][11][4][12][13][14][15][16][17] Permanent standard time is supported by advocates for school children, including the National PTA, National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, National School Boards Association, and Start School Later. They cite both the health benefits of circadian alignment, and the safety advantages regarding morning commutes.[10][18][19][20]

It is supported by certain religious communities, such as Orthodox Jews, whose daily prayers and other customs are synchronized with times of sunrise and sunset.[21][22][23]

It is supported by environmental evidence, owing to evidence that DST observation increases driving, morning heating, and evening air conditioning, which all in turn increase energy consumption and pollution.[24][25]

Permanent daylight saving time[edit]

A change in federal law would be necessary to allow states to observe DST permanently all year. A number of states have pursued state bills, resolutions, and referendums to indicate intention to observe permanent DST if federal law would permit it.

In 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, Florida Republican senator Marco Rubio introduced to Congress the "Sunshine Protection Act", a bill to permit states to observe permanent DST. The bill had achieved referral to committee, but had not received a hearing.[26][27][28][29] Also in 2021, Florida Republican Representative Vern Buchanan introduced a daylight saving time for the whole country, by changing everyone's time zone forward by an hour (Eastern Time would become permanently UTC-0400 instead of UTC-0500). That bill also allowed states to opt out under certain conditions.[30] On March 15, 2022, Rubio's bill passed the Senate.[31]

As a work-around to the Uniform Time Act's prohibition on permanent DST, a bloc of states in New England has proposed a statutory move from the Eastern Time Zone to the Atlantic Time Zone (Atlantic Time being one hour ahead of Eastern Time), and then abolishing biannual clock changes. If approved by the Department of Transportation, such a move would effectively put these states on permanent DST without needing to await amendment to the Uniform Time Act by Congress. Similarly, on the West Coast, Washington state passed both a bill for permanent DST and an alternative bill to move the state's official observation from the Pacific Time Zone to the Mountain Time Zone.[32]

Possible benefits and disadvantages of daylight time[edit]

A meta-analysis by Rutgers researchers found that permanent DST would eliminate 171 pedestrian fatalities (a 13% reduction) per year.[33] DST has been supported by the Chamber of Commerce since 1915 attributing added sales and outdoor activity to sunlight in the evenings. Additionally, DST has been expanded to nearly 8 months of the year, effectively making it the new standard.[34]

Some have warned, however, that the decreased exposure to morning sunlight will have significant detrimental effects. Sleep researchers have likened the resulting increased fatigue to "permanent [jet lag]".[11] Experts such as Till Roenneberg argue that permanent observation of DST significantly[4] increases rates of disease and accidents, and lowers productivity and wages.[35] In 2018, the European Sleep Research Society, the European Biological Rhythms Society, and the Society for Research on Biological Rhythms (SRBR) released a joint statement to the EU Commission on DST in opposition to permanent DST and in support of permanent standard time.[36] The SRBR followed with its own more comprehensive statement and set of materials supporting the same position in 2019.[17] In August 2020, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine provided a statement on why they oppose permanent daylight saving time and favor permanent standard time.[10]

Previous observation of year-round daylight saving time[edit]

Permanent DST in the US was briefly enacted by president Richard Nixon in 1974, in response to the 1973 oil crisis. The proposal was initially supported by an estimated 79% of the public; that support dropped to 42% after its first winter, owing to the harshness of dark winter mornings that permanent DST creates.[18] The new permanent DST law was retracted within the year.[1][2][37][38]

2015–2022: Proposals for the introduction of year-round DST[edit]

A movement has been organized in support of the legalization of using daylight saving time as the year-round clock option.[39] Bills to end DST, and bills to make it permanent, have been introduced in more than 30 states.[40]

The main argument for introducing year-round DST is that the lifestyles and work patterns of modern-day citizens are no longer compatible with the concept of shifting the clock every spring and fall. Supporters also argue that switching to ''Forward Time'' would also result in saving energy by reducing the need for artificial light.[41] The Sunshine Protection Act of 2019 was introduced in the Senate by Senator Marco Rubio (R) of Florida to make the times used for DST standard time and abolish DST. It had bipartisan support from senators from Washington and Tennessee, but it had not received a hearing in the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation committee.[42][40][43]

In 2015, the Nevada Senate passed Nevada Assembly Joint Resolution 4,[44] which urged Congress to enact legislation allowing individual states to establish daylight saving time as the standard time in their respective states throughout the calendar year. This would mean that Nevada is on the same time as Arizona all year, but would be an hour ahead of California in the winter.[45] The United States Congress has not yet enacted any enabling legislation in this regard.

In 2018, the Florida Senate approved the Sunshine Protection Act which would put Florida on permanent daylight saving time year round, and Governor Rick Scott signed it March 23. Congress would need to amend the existing 1966 federal law to allow the change.[46]

In 2018, voters in California ratified a legislative plan which would allow for year-round daylight saving time to be enacted.[47] However, it still requires the vote of two-thirds of the state's legislature and the approval of Congress.[48]

In 2019, the Washington State Legislature passed Substitute House Bill 1196,[49] which would establish year-round observation of daylight saving time contingent on the United States Congress amending federal law to authorize states to observe daylight saving time year-round. The bill passed,[50] and was followed by proposed 2021 ballot initiative 1803, "Abolish Daylight Saving Time in Washington state" to petition the U.S. Congress to authorize the change.[51]

Tennessee and Oregon also passed bills in 2019 for year-round DST,[52][53] and legislative houses in Alabama and Arkansas also approved resolutions in favor.[54][55]

Georgia governor Brian P. Kemp signed Senate Bill 100 providing for year-round daylight saving time when the United States Congress amends 15 U.S.C. Section 260a to authorize states to observe daylight saving time year round.[56]

In 2022, the United States Senate passed a bill to make Daylight Saving Time permanent. If enacted, this bill would take effect starting in November 2023.[57] The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has opposed the Sunshine Protection Act and called instead for permanent standard time, a position supported by the American College of Chest Physicians and the World Sleep Society, among others.[58]

Table of state-level legislative actions[edit]

State Legislation for permanent standard time Legislation for permanent DST Note Ref.
Alabama No attempt Success[59] Requires that Congress pass a law to allow states to adopt permanent DST
Alaska Pending[60] Pending[61]
Arizona Success (A.R.S. § 1-242, in effect since January 1, 1969)[62]: 629 [63] No attempt Has observed permanent standard time since 1968; see also Time in Arizona
Arkansas No attempt Failure[64]
California No attempt Partial success In 2018, Proposition 7 passed, allowing the state legislature to pursue Permanent DST, (Permanent Standard Time as the alternate); however, no law changing the start and end dates of daylight saving time has been passed by the California legislature.[65][66][67]
Colorado Failure[68][69] Success[70][71] Requires that Congress pass a law to allow states to adopt permanent DST and that at least four other states in the Mounterain Time Zone pass laws to adopt permanent DST
Connecticut No attempt Pending[72][73] Establishes permanent Atlantic Standard Time; dependent on Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York also adopting Atlantic Standard Time
Delaware No attempt Success[74] Establishes permanent Atlantic Standard Time; dependent on Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland also adopting Atlantic Standard Time
Florida No attempt Success[46] Requires that Congress pass a law to allow states to adopt permanent DST
Georgia Failure[75] Success (OCGA § 50-1-10)[76] Requires that Congress pass a law to allow states to adopt permanent DST. Two simultaneous bills were introduced in 2021. One for permanent standard time, the other for permanent DST.
Hawaii Success (H.R.S. §1-31, in effect since March 30, 1967)[77] No attempt Has observed permanent standard time since 1967; see also Time in Hawaii
Idaho Pending[78] Partial success[79][80] If Washington implements permanent daylight saving time, the northern part of the state in Pacific Time will follow. A bill to do the same for the part of the state in Mountain Time if Utah implements permanent daylight saving time has not passed.
Illinois Pending[81][82] Pending[83][84][85]
Indiana No attempt No attempt [6]
Iowa Pending[86] Pending[87][88][89][90][91][92][93]
Kansas No attempt Failure[94]
Kentucky No attempt Pending[95]
Louisiana No attempt Success[96] Requires that Congress pass a law to allow states to adopt permanent DST
Maine No attempt Success[97] Requires that Congress pass a law to allow states to adopt permanent DST; dependent on all states in the eastern time zone, and the District of Columbia, doing the same
Maryland No attempt Failure[98]
Massachusetts No attempt Pending[99]
Michigan No attempt Pending[100][101]
Minnesota No attempt Success[102] Requires that Congress pass a law to allow states to adopt permanent DST [6]
Mississippi Failure[103] Success[104] Requires that Congress pass a law to allow states to adopt permanent DST
Missouri Pending[105] Pending[106]
Montana Failure[107] Success[108] Requires that Congress pass a law to allow states to adopt permanent DST or that the US Department of Transportation allow Montana to go on permanent Central Standard Time; requires that at least three of the states Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming also go on permanent DST
Nebraska No attempt Failure[109]
Nevada No attempt No attempt [6]
New Hampshire No attempt Pending[110]
New Jersey No attempt Pending[111][112]
New Mexico No attempt No attempt [6]
New York No attempt Pending[113][114] Establishes permanent Atlantic Standard Time; dependent on Connecticut, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania also adopting Atlantic Standard Time
North Carolina No attempt Pending[115][116]
North Dakota No attempt No attempt [6]
Ohio Pending[117] No attempt
Oklahoma Pending[118] Pending[119]
Oregon No attempt Success[53] Requires that Congress pass a law to allow states to adopt permanent DST; dependent on participation of California and Washington
Pennsylvania Pending[120][121] Pending[122]
Rhode Island No attempt No attempt [6]
South Carolina No attempt Success[123] Requires that Congress pass a law to allow states to adopt permanent DST
South Dakota No attempt No attempt [6]
Tennessee No attempt Success[52] Requires that Congress pass a law to allow states to adopt permanent DST
Texas Pending[124] Pending[125][126]
Utah No attempt Success[127] Requires that Congress pass a law to allow states to adopt permanent DST; dependent at least four of Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming also adopting permanent DST
Vermont Pending[128] Pending[129]
Virginia Pending[130] No attempt
Washington Pending[131] Success[132] Requires that Congress pass a law to allow states to adopt permanent DST; pending SB 5511 goes to permanent ST until states are allowed to adopt permanent DST, at which point it goes to permanent DST
West Virginia Pending[133] Pending[134]
Wisconsin No attempt No attempt [6]
Wyoming Failure[135] Success[136] Requires that Congress pass a law to allow states to adopt permanent DST; dependent on three or more of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah adopting permanent DST

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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