Daylight Saving Time (DST) has been a longstanding practice in the United States, where clocks are set forward by one hour during the warmer months to make better use of daylight. However, in recent years, several states have been considering or have already made changes to their observance of DST. In this article, we’ll explore the states that have made adjustments to their approach to Daylight Saving Time in 2022 and the reasons behind these changes.
What Is Daylight Saving Time?
Daylight Saving Time is a practice where clocks are set forward by one hour during the warmer months, typically beginning in spring and ending in autumn. This shift aims to make better use of natural daylight and conserve energy by reducing the need for artificial lighting in the evenings. While it was initially implemented for energy conservation during World War I and World War II, its necessity has been a topic of debate in recent years.
States Moving Away from DST in 2022
Oregon: In 2021, Oregon passed a bill to abolish the biannual time change and remain on Daylight Saving Time year-round, pending approval from the federal government. If approved, Oregonians will no longer need to adjust their clocks twice a year.
Washington: Similar to Oregon, Washington passed legislation in 2019 to stay on DST throughout the entire year. The change is contingent on congressional approval.
California: In 2018, California voters approved Proposition 7, allowing the state legislature to change its observance of DST. However, any changes would require federal approval.
Florida: Florida was one of the first states to take action to eliminate the practice of “falling back” in November 2018. The “Sunshine Protection Act” was signed into law, and Florida remains on DST year-round.
Alaska: Alaska introduced a bill in 2019 to eliminate the time change and stay on DST permanently, but the legislation did not advance.
Texas: Several bills have been introduced in Texas to move away from Daylight Saving Time, but as of 2022, none have successfully passed into law.
Maine: Maine passed a bill in 2019 to stay on DST year-round, but it is contingent on approval from the federal government.
Hawaii and Arizona: It’s important to note that both Hawaii and Arizona do not observe Daylight Saving Time at all. They remain on Standard Time throughout the year.
Reasons for the Change
States’ decisions to move away from the biannual time changes are based on a variety of factors:
Public Health: Studies have shown that the abrupt shifts in time, particularly “springing forward” and losing an hour of sleep, can have negative health impacts, such as increased risk of heart attacks and accidents.
Economic Impact: Some states argue that staying on one time year-round can boost the local economy by encouraging outdoor activities, shopping, and tourism in the evenings.
Energy Conservation: The original intent of Daylight Saving Time was to save energy, but modern studies have shown that the energy savings are minimal or non-existent, making the practice less relevant today.
Quality of Life: Many proponents of abolishing DST argue that staying on a consistent time throughout the year can improve overall quality of life, as it eliminates the need to adjust schedules and internal clocks twice a year.
Challenges and Hurdles
Despite state-level efforts to change DST observance, there are several challenges and hurdles to overcome:
Federal Approval: The Uniform Time Act of 1966 gives the federal government the authority to regulate time zones and DST observance. Any changes at the state level require approval from Congress.
Coordination: Changes to DST observance at the state level can lead to coordination challenges, particularly for states that neighbor those on different time schedules.
Economic Impacts: Critics argue that changes to DST observance can have economic consequences, as some industries and businesses may rely on the time changes for their operations.
Public Opinion: Public opinion varies on the topic, and some individuals may prefer the status quo or have concerns about the potential effects of staying on one time year-round.
States considering or making changes to their observance of Daylight Saving Time in 2022 reflect a growing national conversation about the relevance and impact of this practice. While some states have taken significant steps to move away from the biannual time changes, they face the challenge of obtaining federal approval and addressing potential economic and logistical impacts. The future of Daylight Saving Time in the United States remains a complex and evolving issue, with discussions and debates continuing at both the state and federal levels.