New bills would drop Utah from back and forth of Daylight Saving Time

Posted at 7:52 AM, Jan 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-31 10:30:36-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- A pair of bills in the Utah State Legislature would make the state abandon the concept of Daylight Saving Time.

But one would make Utah "spring ahead" while the other would have the state "fall behind."

House Bill 178, sponsored by Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, suggests that Utah would no longer "spring ahead."

"The state of Utah shall observe mountain standard time on a year round basis, without the observance of daylight saving time," Perry wrote in HB178.

Perry told FOX 13 that Utah would join Arizona and Hawaii in skipping the clock change. Idaho has similar legislation, Perry said.

"If Idaho does it with Utah, we would actually have a zone with Arizona, Idaho and Utah all on the same time schedule which would make the most sense," he said.

Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, has the competing Senate Concurrent Resolution 1, which would have Utah "spring ahead" and stay ahead.

In an interview with FOX 13 on Friday, Sen. Osmond said no other bill he's dealing with has generated such a public response.

"There are more people concerned about going back and forth or staying on this plan than any other issue we're discussing up here," he said. "Substantive issues, by the way. Things like education funding, juvenile justice, etc. People are more interested in this than anything we've discussed."

If Osmond's bill passed, Utah would be the only state to stay on Daylight Saving Time year-round, and would need permission from the U.S. Department of Transportation to do so. But it would give an extra hour of light.

"I think the most important reason is many families in Utah value the extra hour of light in the evening for family activities, outdoor activities, etc., " Osmond said. "So if we're going to have a change where we don't go back and forth, let's stay with the change that gives us the most light and pleases the most amount of citizens."

The state has been "studying" the issue for the past year. Polls have found a majority of Utahns support staying on the same time year-round, but it remains to be seen which bill advances in committee.

Concerns have been raised about computers, agriculture and tourism. Those are things lawmakers believe they have addressed.

"Most people agree, we hate the changing back and forth," Perry said.