So there are nine states with active DST-related legislation. With two new states last week, who can keep up? Here’s the simplest review we can give you…
Proposals to DROP Daylight Saving Time
This is, by far, the most popular proposal in the land.
There are three bills here, all proposing to drop DST. There’s one in the House and one in the Senate with start dates of 2017, which would keep the state on DST for two more years before dropping it. One bill in the Senate would start 2016, keeping the state on DST for only one more year before going “standard time, all the time”.
The legislature here is proposing to put a referendum vote to the people on the next general election ballot, later this year. If approved, Oregon would continue to observe DST through 2020, and not observe DST in 2021. There’s another catch: if California or Washington vote sooner to go to no-DST year round, Oregon would make the switch earlier.
While there’s no implementation attached to this latest of DST-free proposals, we’re hoping they’ll amend the bill to go one more year on DST, then none for 2016.
There is, however, an oddity in the bill as proposed, which reads: “South Dakota elects to reject daylight savings time and elects to continue use in force standard time, or summer hours.” What is the intention of the last 3 words? Time Zone Report has written to the bill’s sponsor for clarification, but no answer yet.
There are two bills in consideration by the Texas House, both proposing to abolish DST.
One of the bills, as written, would drop DST effective September 1, 2015. Why they’d drop DST in the middle of the DST season is a mystery. We’re hoping they amend the bill to make it effecting January 1, 2016.
But there’s another bill that wants to establish a task force first. This is what Utah did in 2014, but apparently Texas wants to do their own survey. This task force would report back to later than December 2016 (Utah did their survey in one year; apparently since “everything is bigger in Texas” it’ll take them longer to do this step). There’s nothing here that says when the “no DST” would take effect if requested, but maybe they’re leaving everything up to the task force, including selecting an implementation date.
There is one bill in the Utah House that would just make Daylight Saving Time a thing of the past in the state. As currently written, this bill would take effect March 7, 2015, one day before DST is supposed to start this year. No more DST. But there’s one bill in the state’s Senate — see more on Utah below.
The state of Washington has a bill in their House to stay on Pacific Standard Time throughout the year. Similar to South Dakota, there’s no implementation attached to this legislation, and we’re hoping they’ll amend the bill to go one more year on DST, then none for 2016.
But like Utah, there’s another bill under consideration. See Washington again, below.
Proposals for Year-Round DST
Keep in mind states are not actually permitted to go on Year-Round DST, according to federal statutes.
Florida & Mississippi
There’s a bill in each of these state’s Senate to adopt Year-Round DST effective summer of 2015.
Technically, the state of Washington isn’t declaring a wish to go to Year-Round DST. What they are doing is asking the US Congress and President to change the federal statute to permit states to choose Year-Round DST as an option.
The legislation in House Joint Memorial 4001 crafted by Representative Joe Schmick is, in my opinion, the best and only appropriate request relating to Year-Round DST in the entire United States – not just this year, but for the entire period I have been researching US DST legislation, from 2010 to present.
If every state sent this legislative message to the President and Congress, it would have a better chance of getting their attention. Think of Doctor Seuss’s “Horton Hears a Who”, where it took just one more tiny, small voice for the village of Whoville to be heard.
Change Time Zone
This state is asking the US Department of Transportation to move them from the Mountain time zone to the Central time zone, and then they would stay on Central Standard Time year-round. Except then they’re proposal to call the state’s time “Mountain Daylight Saving Time”. Here at Time Zone Report, we don’t think this will fly with the US DOT, and is likely to be disapproved.
If you’re thinking you already read about Utah, you’re right: above, they’re proposing to drop DST like “right now”. But in the state’s Senate there is “Senate Concurrent Resolution 1” which asks the US Department of Transportation to move them from the Mountain time zone to the Central Time Zone. Unlike New Mexico’s proposal, they seem prepared to just call it “Central Standard Time” if the US DOT approves it.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t include my home state of Arizona, where legislation was filed on January 6, 2015 to adopt Daylight Saving Time in the state. In less than a week, the sponsor withdrew the bill.
Arizona is currently one of only two states not doing DST, and we’ve been DST-free since 1968. The bill’s sponsor said “I thought it was time we considered it again”. Fortunately the bill was withdrawn after public pressure, which included a Twitter campaign from user @NoDSTinAZ.
And from that success, Time Zone Report was born.