I just looked around, and can say these seven things very clearly:
- I have been blogging about Daylight Saving Time for more than two years, and am now pretty much the leading voice on this admittedly very niche issue.
- In October of 2014 when I did a piece for CNN, I was seen of something of an oddity.
- In the years since, I've seen a ton of research come out about how bad the clock changing is.
- I've also seen a lot more bills proposed around the country. (All but one died, see item 6, below, on that.)
- There's also been a noticeable shift in public opinion, based on Fall Back memes, Spring Forward memes, and just the media coverage in general.
- One state (a big one) had a Republican sponsor pass a resolution that I promoted in a very Democratic legislature, showing how bipartisan this issue is.
- Now I'm seeing a bunch more state legislators trying to get something done. I'll list some of them below, but it's very encouraging.
The problem I have is this: Legislators keep trying to do a thing that I totally support in the underlying spirit, but that I'm quite certain is doomed to failure. That leaves me with two questions:
- How do I tell people that I support them, but that they should try something different?
- How do I get the word out to legislators before they introduce a (doomed) bill that there's a better way?
I really need help on both those points. If you have suggestions, please contact me.
Is the sun setting on Daylight Saving Time clock changing? These Canada Geese think so!
In the meantime, here's what I've seen in terms of bills being introduced for the 2017 legislative session:
- Wyoming. From the one story about this bill, it's clear that the main sponsor, Rep. Dan Laursen, agrees with the overwhelming majority of Americans that the time we are in doesn't matter as much as it's important to stop changing the clocks twice per year. He apparently first proposed that Wyoming stay in Standard Time all year long, but ran into a buzz saw of opposition. Where year-round Standard Time might be good for some states (like Nevada), for Wyoming year-round DST seems to be best, and will certainly have the least opposition.
- New Jersey. This one is kind of inspired, tragic, and wonderful all at once. The sponsor, Shirley Turner, is proposing a resolution calling for extending Daylight Saving Time by a week or two in the fall, making sure that it comes after the election, and not before. The fact that the time change came just before the last election was hard to miss this year. Her resolution says that in more dignified tones. It's a wonderful resolution, avoiding the trap of thinking a bill or law that applies only to New Jersey would do any good. But it's tragic — I think — because it just takes something terrible (the time change) and nudges it forward a small bit rather than just eliminating it. Still, good for Sen. Turner for proposing something, rather than just doing nothing. And good for her for proposing a resolution that can get passed without much opposition.
- Missouri. The Show Me state has a track record of trying to do something about DST. This bill modifies the tactic I've seen from Rep. Mike Kelley before of saying that Missouri will only go to permanent DST if two adjacent states also pass a law saying that they will also go to permanent DST. Similar bills have failed in the past, but maybe this year? The problem, as always, is that even a group of three states will almost certainly not be allowed to switch by the federal government.
- Texas. This bill is like so many other doomed bills that have gone before. It will fail, unfortunately, and even if it did pass, the Feds won't let one state act alone under the Uniform Time Act. Hey, Sen. Menendez, I'm happy to jump on a call with you to help talk about what can work!
- Connecticut. (No bill filed yet, but news here.) This is the first time I've seen any action from the Nutmeg state, so welcome to the fight, Kurt Vail! As you've already seen, this is a great way to get press and get your constituents talking. If one report is true, even you don't think you'll be able to get your bill out of committee. You are probably right. But there is a DST resolution you can get passed that will help a great deal. If California can pass it, you can, too! If I can help, just contact me.
A few other states have some early indication of action, including a reprise of past failed efforts in New Mexico and Massachusetts.
Good News on DST
Overall, this may seem like a lot of bad news, but really just the fact that there's so much news is good news. There's also been more research that I'll be updating soon, and a LOT more press coverage, some good and some stinky, but all interesting. I'll be covering it all.
In short, the momentum is swinging in the direction of fixing the killing aspects of the time change. With a bit more effort, I know we'll get there.