Ending Daylight Saving Time could go on the ballot

Posted at 2:28 PM, Mar 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-01 20:17:55-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- An idea to end Daylight Saving Time in Utah could be put before voters in the form of a ballot initiative.

It came after the House Natural Resources Committee rejected House Bill 65, which would have ended the back-and-forth of clocks every year. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Fred Cox, R-West Valley City, was defeated in a 8-4 vote.

Rep. Cox said he was running HB65 after overwhelming comments from constituents in annual voter surveys. He said 60% of constituents wanted to fall behind and stay behind, 20% wanted to spring ahead and stay ahead, and another 20% were fine with Daylight Saving Time.

Springing ahead would require congressional approval. During his presentation Tuesday, lawmakers acknowledged they had heard from constituents who wanted to end Daylight Saving Time.

"People really dislike changing," said Rep. Mike McKell, R-Spanish Fork.

Rep. Scott Chew, R-Jensen, said the calls varied depending on whether it was March or November.

"I've had a lot of people call me. All of them during the time change," he said. "I've asked them specifically, 'What is it you want?' They hate the inconvenience of having to adjust."

But lawmakers said they have also heard from people passionate about their longer daylight hours in the summer. Rep. Timothy Hawkes, R-Centerville, noted that to outdoor enthusiasts, it's a "really, really big deal."

The Utah Farm Bureau spoke in opposition to the HB65. But after the vote, Rep. McKell told FOX 13 he might bring it back next year -- putting it on the ballot for voters to decide.

"I think it would be good to put it on the ballot, let the voters of Utah take a look at it and decide this once and for all," he said.