Time Zone Report

Following Daylight Saving Time legislation in the US

DST/TZ Bills Start Early

We’re not even two full weeks into 2017, and already there are 13 bill out of 10 states that related to some form of Daylight Saving Time or Time Zone Change legislation. Some of these bills were filed in late 2016 for this legislative session, but several have popped up just in the last few days.

Bills to Abolish Daylight Saving Time

There are six bills proposing to abolish Daylight Saving Time – or as the official language often reads, to “exempt the state from 15 USC 260a”.

Michigan’s text wasn’t available last I checked, but the title makes the intent pretty clear. The two bills from Texas are identical, but one is in the Senate, the other in the House.  Utah’s bill requires a vote of the people first.

Bills for Time Zone Changes

Three states have bills proposing to request Time Zone changes.

  • Maine – HP 58
  • New Hampshire – HB 209
  • Wyoming – HB 49 (link to bill text PDF; no link to status page yet)

The bill from Maine just dropped onto the scene yesterday.  The bill from new Hampshire would require Massachusetts to also pass a similar bill before becoming law.

The Wyoming bill is more interesting, and sits in the same vein as many of the crazy bills from the previous two years we’ve been following this topic.  Wyoming’s bill does say they’ll stop observing DST, but then goes on to say they’ll petition the DOT to be “transferred to the zone designated as United States standard central time”, but then they propose that once the time zone has been changed to CST, their time “shall be known as mountain daylight saving time.”  15 USC 260 and the DOT get to specify the names of the time zones, and if they say Wyoming can go to Central Standard Time, then that’s what it’ll be called.  Year Round Daylight Saving Time doesn’t exist and isn’t allowed… why go and mess up your chances for a successful piece of legislation by gummying up the bill with this stuff?

Bills Relating to Year Round Daylight Saving Time

Four states have bill relating to Year Round Daylight Saving Time — which I’ll remind you, isn’t a thing, and probably won’t ever be a thing.  Pardon me jumping on my bandwagon, but why states continue waste their legislatures’ time to propose this junk is beyond me.

Connecticut already had an entry in the first section above, but someone in the Senate apparently thinks they’re smarter than the House and wants to try the impossible here. The full text wasn’t available last I looked, so I’ll wait to comment further.

Missouri’s bill is available, and there’s plenty to comment on here.  Their bill proposes first to be “exempted from the daylight saving time provisions of 15 U.S.C. Section 260a.”  So they make it sound like they’re just abolishing DST.  But then they go on to say that in March of 2020 they will “switch clocks to daylight saving for the last time and the use of daylight saving time for public purposes will be eliminated”.  So they just want to opt out of the US Code and do what they want, which is apparently “go on DST but not use DST.”  What???  Who dreams this stuff up?  Hopefully not another “state’s rights” activist hoping to buck the feds.  The only sensible thing in this bill is to put this to a vote of the people.

Mississippi’s two bills are identical, and both in the House. Why would two Representatives introduce the same bill?  I don’t know, but I will give them credit for the simplicity of their madness: “the State of Mississippi shall observe Daylight Saving Time year-round” starting this July 1.

We’ll see how the remaining 50 weeks of 2017 goes.  Stay tuned!

Updated: January 12, 2017 — 9:53 am

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time Zone Report, a service of GoodClix, Inc. © 2015 Frontier Theme