It's about time
Local legislators pushing bill that would abolish daylight saving time
February 7, 2019
A bill sponsored by both of Crook County’s legislators this year would do away with the need to spring forward and fall back. HB-14 would establish “Mountain Daylight Time”, creating a single time zone for Wyoming that would not be subject to daylight saving.
“Daylight savings time is an antiquated system,” says Senator Ogden Driskill, who is co-sponsoring a bill to abolish daylight savings for the third time since joining the Wyoming Senate. Driskill believes that Wyomingites are pretty much evenly split between liking and disliking daylight savings.
“Changing time leads to many accidents, higher rates of people being late to work and even some deaths,” he continues. “The facts are well documented.”
Representative Tyler Lindholm agrees that daylight savings have negative effects on our lifestyle here in the Midwest.
“I support this legislation due to the fact that I have children, much like many of the readers of this paper. The unnecessary time change wrecks those kids for a few weeks each time, and it is not needed,” he says.
“Also take into consideration that the majority of our area works in agriculture or energy. Their schedule will either be dawn to dusk, or 12 hour shifts.”
The bill references the Standard Time Act of 1918, which established standard time zones for the United States that were bounded by meridian lines and included standard mountain time. In 1966, the Uniform Time Act promoted the adoption of uniform time within those zones and established daylight saving time.
It also authorized states that are entirely situated in one zone, such as Wyoming, to exempt themselves from this change. The text of the bill argues that residents and businesses in Wyoming are more habituated to the eight months of daylight saving than the four months of standard time and that the biannual change is disruptive to both commerce and daily schedules.
However, HB-14 would not instantly revoke daylight savings.
“The bill, if enacted, will not become effective until three surrounding states sign on,” says Driskill.
For example, if Colorado, South Dakota and Nebraska all decided to get rid of daylight savings, HB-14 would come into effect. At that point, the governor of Wyoming would apply to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to transfer the state to the zone designated as standard central time in the Standard Time Act of 1918.
“I supported HB-14 because it requires that other states join us before we make the change. That way were not abandoning Wyoming as its own timezone,” says Lindholm.
“That could be detrimental for border towns like those in Crook and Weston County. When other states adopt, we can make the change one more time in the spring and forget about it.”