SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah lawmaker hopes to pull the plug on daylight saving time.
Rep. Jim Nielson, R-Bountiful, has drafted legislation to allow the state to get rid of the semiannual changing of the clocks — an hour forward in the spring and an hour back in the fall. Nielson said constituent complaints spurred him to action.
"I've never cared for daylight saving time so I thought I'd run a bill," he said.
Federal law specifies daylight saving time applies from 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March until 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of November in areas that do not specifically exempt themselves. Arizona and Hawaii are currently the only states that do not observe the time changes.
In 2010, Rep. Ken Sumsion, R-American Fork, ran a similar bill. He proposed to either maintain standard time year-round or stick with the adjusted time, a move federal law prohibits. The bill stalled in a legislative committee.
I've never cared for daylight saving time so I thought I'd run a bill.
–Rep. Jim Nielson, R-Bountiful
Nielson's measure simply allows Utah to opt out of the program.
The freshman lawmaker said there are lots of reasons to dislike daylight time including the physical and mental adjustment to the change and the early morning darkness it creates for schoolchildren.
"It's a little bit akin to jet lag," Nielson said. "It just messes with your system."
He also said he sees it as a "heavy-handed" government mandate.
The United States first adopted daylight saving time near the end of World War I. The idea, however, proved unpopular and was repealed in 1918. It was instituted at various times since then, including during World War II.
Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966, which included daylight saving time but allowed states to opt out. Lawmakers fiddled with start and stop dates over the years until settling on the current schedule in 2007.