US Braces for Changing Clocks as DST Bill Remains Neither Here, Nor There

The United States will once again switch from standard time to daylight savings time (DST) on March 12.

The issue of having to change the clocks twice a year has not been resolved since last year. A relevant bill was adopted by only one of the chambers of the US Congress.

The Bill That Died a Bizarre Death

Daylight saving time will be this year at 2 am on March 12, delaying both the sunrise and the sunset by one hour, that is, there will be more light in the evenings and more darkness in the early mornings.

For instance, in New York City, the sun will set at 5:58 pm on March 11, and at 6:59 pm on March 12.

In 2023, daylight saving time in the United States will last up until November 5, when Americans would have to turn their clocks back again by one hour. In Europe, where the countries also change the time, the DST arrives later by two weeks and ends earlier by a week.

The clock change twice every year has been a controversial issue. Many people have complained about it and dozens of states sought to take some kind of action in that regard.

It came close to being resolved last year after the Senate voted to approve a bill sponsored by Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.

The bill entitled “Sunshine Protection Act of 2021” would have made daylight saving time the permanent, normal time, starting in November 2023, when there would have been no changing of the clocks.

What is more, the bill was passed unanimously in the Senate.

The problem is it was then sent to the House of Representatives right away – in March 2022 – but the House never even voted on it. It wasn’t advanced to the House floor, leaving Americans once again stuck with the clock changing.

Records from the new Congress show that no bill on the issue of the time change has been introduced yet; it probably wouldn’t be resolved for quite some time, The Hill reported.

That is in spite of all the jubilation in the Senate when they passed the Sunshine Act bill last year.

Those That Don’t Change Time Have to Change Time Zones

According to federal law, only two options exist for the US to abandon the time changes, another report said.

Those are the adoption of a federal law – which failed last year, or a motion by a state or local government to the US Secretary of Transportation to prove such a change would boost “the convenience of commerce.”

Only two states in the US – Hawaii and the bulk of Arizona – keep on permanent standard time and don’t change their clocks. However, they change their time zones because the other states shift their time.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says 19 states have adopted resolutions or legislation to remain permanently on daylight saving time. However, such a change cannot be enacted without the approval of Congress or coordination with their neighboring states.

At least four other states have commissioned studies or have otherwise moved ahead in the process of adoption laws to that end.


This article appeared in The State Today and has been published here with permission.