Debate to End Time Change: NPR

The time field (time domainA clock installation by Klaus Ringe is seen in a park in Düsseldorf, Germany in 2019.

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The time field (time domainA clock installation by Klaus Ringe is seen in a park in Düsseldorf, Germany in 2019.

Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Twice a year, every year, the ritual returns like clockwork: the beginning and end of daylight saving time.

Millions of Americans, begrudgingly or gleefully, tap their devices or manually — and mentally — change the time to reflect the changing of the seasons.

In recent years, lawmakers have talked about the time-honored tradition being on its last legs. Federal and state-level bills aimed at biennial time changes are awaiting action, or at least stalled for now.

See where things stand.

What is the status of that senate bill for term change?

In March 2022, the Senate passed the Sunlight Protection Act. The intent behind the bill is to make daylight saving time permanent beginning in the spring of 2023.

At first, it seemed like it might turn out to be a reality. The Senate passed the bill through a quick process and by unanimous consent — a legislative rarity in this day and age.

But the bill was not taken up in the House. Members He cited the budget deficit and the war in Ukraine as higher priorities, but there was also a growing chorus of criticism. Approach to the Bill (more on this below).

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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., reintroduced the bill in March 2023 and it was referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, but there has been no significant movement since then. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla. A companion bill introduced by , has similarly stalled in committee at the House level.

Even one The bill passed both chambers and still needs to be signed by President Biden, who has not indicated how he is leaning. On the issue.

So till now, the tradition remains.

Who observes Daylight Saving Time?

All but two states—Hawaii and Arizona (except the Navajo Nation)—observe daylight saving time. The American territories of American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands also do not change their clocks.

What is the argument against sunlight protection laws?

When the Sunlight Protection Act was first debated in a House subcommittee, experts said switching to permanent daylight saving time would do everything: save lives, reduce crime, conserve energy and improve health.

Everyone agrees that ending time changes is generally a good idea. Our bodies are extremely sensitive to disruptions to our circadian rhythms.

But the medical community has taken issue with how the bill proposes change — specifically, mandating that all states follow permanent daylight saving time rather than standard time.

Doctors and scientists argue that constant time is better for our health. Our internal clock is fine-tuned to getting light in the morning, which sets us up for better sleep cycles.

However, supporters of the bill were not swayed. Rubio is pushing for more permanent daylight saving time.

Perhaps the biggest argument for this approach is economics. More light in the evenings encourages people to go out and do things — namely, spend money.

For example, the nation's convenience stores told a congressional subcommittee. Cost escalation When clocks are set to daylight saving time.

Can states adopt their own time change rules?

Because the federal law is stuck in a holding pattern, states can take up the issue, but they are still subject to certain federal limitations.

The Law of uniform timePassed in 1966, states states may enact permanent standard time but not permanent daylight saving time.

According to a tally by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), at least 550 bills and resolutions on time changes have emerged at the state level in recent years. So the same debate at the federal level is playing out in statehouses across America.

Save constant timeA non-profit organization working to end daylight saving time regularly updates a detailed chart with the exact status of state bills.

Which States Are Trying to End Daylight Saving Time?

By 2023, at least 29 states were considering daylight saving time legislation.

At least half of those states have enacted or passed measures pledging to switch to permanent daylight saving time if Congress changes the rules to allow for such action.

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Many of those states are seriously considering legislation to end daylight saving time, but by moving the state to standard time year-round. According to NCSL.

Last month, A Oregon bill Keeping most of the state on Pacific Standard Time year-round did not advance in the state Senate. But supporters agreed to amend the bill to say that Oregon would end daylight savings time only if California and Washington made the same change within the next 10 years.

Lawmakers in Oregon's neighboring states of Idaho, California and Washington have proposed similar bills.

When does daylight saving time end?

That's Sunday, November 3. Mark your calendars.

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