If you are a state legislator, I've assembled this quick guide for you.
Many states have attempted to alter their own time zone, but the efforts typically get derailed when they learn of the control by the federal government.
Still, every year there are attempts to change, and this year is no different. This is an excellent tracker of state-level efforts.
Why is this effort different?
We are not asking for a law to be passed, simply a resolution. There is no binding commitments, no un-funded mandates, and no attempt to challenge the federal authority.
The resolution (full text here) simply states that it is the sentiment of that legislative body that all of the U.S. move to permanent Daylight Saving Time. Some states may want to remain in permanent standard time, and they can request that in the text of their own resolution.
In our state the resolution is typically used just to honor citizens or schools.
Nearly every state is like that, but that's OK. This is an unusual problem, so it requires an unusual solution, and there are plenty of times resolutions have been used to send a message to a targeted audience. In this case the audience is the Federal Department of Transportation.
Will I face political trouble if I introduce/support this?
All of the polls (here's a recent one) show at least a two-to-one preference for a stop to the clock changing. When a lawmaker in Arizona proposed this year that his state — one of only two that were grandfathered into the 1966 law and don't have to change twice per year — begin changing with the rest of the country, he was so flooded with negative comments that he immediately and publicly withdrew his proposal.
Though not organized on this issue, traditional TV broadcaster have been against permanent DST because they want people to stop playing outside in the early evening and go home to watch television.
Is there any partisan angle?
If you are looking for one, Republicans can say that they are trying to reduce government intrusion into private lives. Democrats can say that it will help the environment.
What is the science behind supporting this resolution?
- Heart attacks go up because of the clock change.
(New England Journal of Medicine. Sleep Medicine Journal.)
- There's no increased risk to children in ag. families.
(American Journal of Public Health)
- Traffic accidents spike on the Monday after "Spring Forward."
(University of Colorado. New England Journal of Medicine.)
- Staying in DST will improve traffic safety in the winter months, and there is no increased risk to students waiting for school buses.
(Journal of Safety Research.)
- Permanent DST saves energy.
(U.S. Department of Energy.)
- Permanent DST helps in the fight against childhood obesity.
(Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity and Journal of Physical Activity and Health.)
- Productivity goes down because of the clock change.
(Journal of Applied Psychology.)
- It will help decrease pollution.
(Journal of the Air & Waste Management Assn. and Steve Spangler Science.)
- Clock-changing harms relationships.
(Wall St. Journal, citing several studies.)
This resolution has zero fiscal implication, wide popular support and no complicated legal consequences.
With so little risk and so high of a possible reward, we recommend that you introduce or support this resolution as soon as possible.