Fall Back: It’s curtains for Daylight Saving Time | The Numbers Racket

‘Since 2015, at least 350 bills and resolutions’ ending DST were introduced in state Legislatures across the country

By: - November 8, 2021 6:30 am

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Spring forward, fall back, the old adage reminds us. Daylight Saving Time is upon us again. 

So what’s the deal with this complex and, to many, bothersome, idea?

Let’s take a look: 

Some Background

Many sources credit Ben Franklin with the idea for DST, an idea he shared with the Journal of Paris in 1784.

Since then, the idea has spread to 70 other countries, and been used to ration energy in times of war, including during both world wars, and during energy crises. 

Public Opinion

Despite DST’s lengthy history, the majority of Americans are opposed to DST. 

In fact, a 2019 AP-NORC poll found that 71 percent of Americans opposed DST. 

Although the majority of Americans are in agreement on their dislike of DST, the poll found that Americans couldn’t agree on a solution. 

When asked: “Would you prefer to use daylight saving time all year round, standard time all year round, or switch back and forth between them,” Americans couldn’t come to a consensus. 

Thirty-one percent of respondents said Daylight Saving should be all year, while 40 percent said Standard Time should be year-round and 28 percent said “switch back and forth.”

The growing sentiment opposing DST is reflected in myriad state laws across the country. 

“Since 2015, at least 350 bills and resolutions” were introduced in state Legislatures across the country, but “none of significance” passed until 2018, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

In the last four years, 19 states, including Alabama, Georgia, Minnesota, Mississippi Montana, Idaho, Louisiana, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, Wyoming, Arkansas, Delaware, Maine, Oregon, Tennessee, Washington, Florida and California,have enacted legislation or passed resolutions to provide for year-round daylight saving time, according to the NCSL.

Numerous bills to change DST in Pennsylvania have been introduced, including HB 335, which was introduced in April by state Rep. Ryan Mackenzie, R-Lehigh, but has not yet seen a vote in the Senate State Government Committee

Other states, including Hawaii and most of Arizona, do not observe daylight saving time. United States territories Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Samoa also do not observe DLS. 

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Cassie Miller
Cassie Miller

A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared. Follow her on Twitter: @Wordsby_CassieM.

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