Daylight savings “fall back” with extra hour Sunday


Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Sunday is the biannual change of the clocks, but it could be the last time we “fall back” if legislation is passed to make daylight saving time permanent.

The big picture: The US Senate unanimously approved the Sunshine Protection Act in March, a move that could make daylight saving time permanent by 2023, but the bill has not passed the House.

Why it matters: Health organizations have called for an end to the seasonal shifting of clocks, a ritual first introduced in the US more than a century ago, Axios’ Sophia Cai and Andrew Solender report.

context: A new study in the journal Current Biology predicts that DST could prevent 36,550 year-round deer deaths, 33 human deaths, 2,054 human injuries and $1.19 billion in collision costs each year.

What time should I change the clock?

Details: Sunday morning at 2 a.m. is considered the official time to set the clocks to standard time, but many will change the time on their devices before going to bed on Saturday.

  • Daylight saving time is scheduled to return on Sunday, March 12, even if the legislation is passed.

In the meantime, DST used to run from April to October, but the Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended DST by about four weeks from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November.

The push to make daylight saving time permanent

The Sunshine Protection Act — a bill co-sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (DR.I.) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) – was unanimously adopted in mid-March.

  • If the legislation passes the House and is signed into law by President Biden, it means Americans will no longer have to change their clocks twice a year.

Looking back: In the 1970s — the last time Congress made daylight saving time permanent — the decision was reversed in less than a year after the early morning darkness proved dangerous for schoolchildren and changed public sentiment.

States with DST resolutions

By the numbers: According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states have already passed legislation or resolutions for year-round daylight saving time.

  • Florida was the first to pass legislation in 2018 and Colorado went ahead with making daylight saving time permanent earlier this year.
  • Other states that have taken action include: Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
  • California voters approved the Proposition 7 ballot initiative in 2018, but no legislative action has been taken.

Yes but: federal law says states can unilaterally switch to standard time but must have Congressional approval to introduce daylight saving time year-round, Christine Clarridge reports for Axios Seattle.

What we look at: Minnesota State Representative (DFL-Golden Valley) Mike Freiberg told Axios he plans to revive state legislation next session to convert it to standard time, perhaps as early as 2024.

What it would mean: If approved in Minnesota, winter would feel the same, but the sun would rise – and set – an hour earlier in the summer, reports Torey Van Oot of Axios.

  • “Personally, I just want to get rid of the clock changes,” Freiberg said of his multi-year mission. “I don’t really care where we go.”
States with permanent standard time, no daylight saving time

Hawaii and Arizona do not observe daylight saving time, with the exception of the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona.

  • U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands, maintain a permanent standard time.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include additional context about the plans by Minnesota State Representative Mike Freiberg to ask the state legislature to look into converting to a standard time change.

More from Axios:

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voice
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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