As the debate over Daylight Saving Time (DST) continues to rage in America, an increasing number of states have decided to do away with the bi-annual clock adjustment. The drive to abolish DST has been triggered by studies suggesting the time shift can cause a range of issues from minor inconveniences to more significant health impacts, including sleep deprivation, depression, heart issues, and even traffic accidents.
In 2023, four more states have taken steps to join the ranks of those no longer adhering to the traditional practice of “springing forward” and “falling back.” These states include Ohio, Colorado, Michigan, and Oregon.
Ohio Governor signed a bill in early 2023 that permanently sets Ohio’s clock to DST, effectively eliminating the need to change clocks twice a year. The move comes after years of debate and a legislative process that was not without controversy. However, the switch will only come into effect after the federal law changes to allow states to observe DST year-round.
In Colorado, a similar decision was made. After the passing of Proposition 22 in the November 2022 elections, the state will adopt year-round DST starting in 2023. The legislation required a popular vote because of the potential implications on commerce, transportation, and other aspects of daily life that are regulated at the state level. The people of Colorado overwhelmingly voted in favor of the change, and Colorado will not “fall back” in November 2023.
Michigan lawmakers also passed a bill eliminating DST. The change will put the state on Eastern Standard Time year-round. The move comes as a response to widespread public sentiment against the bi-annual time changes, with supporters of the bill citing various studies that link DST to health issues and accidents. The change will take effect starting in 2023.
Oregon lawmakers have also decided to switch to permanent DST, starting in 2023. The decision followed a popular vote in which an overwhelming majority of Oregonians voted to abolish the practice of changing their clocks twice a year. Notably, the decision will align Oregon’s time-keeping practices with those of neighboring Washington and California, both of which have previously voted to establish year-round DST.
It is important to note that all these changes hinge on an alteration in federal law, specifically the Uniform Time Act of 1966, which currently prevents states from observing DST year-round. While states can opt out of DST, as Arizona and Hawaii have done, they can’t keep DST all year without federal approval. However, there has been increased movement at the federal level to reconsider this law, given the growing number of states pushing for the change.
The decision to get rid of DST by these states reflects a growing trend across the U.S., where more people are coming to view the practice as unnecessary and disruptive. As we move further into 2023, we can likely expect to see more states considering similar measures. This move might even prompt a reconsideration of DST at the national level.