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Resolution To Support Bishop's Daylight Saving Time Bill Passes Utah House

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Many of us are feeling the effects of the time change, after setting the clocks ahead an hour for daylight saving time. But Utahns might not have to worry about resetting their clocks, if legislation sponsored by a Utah representative gets enough support. 

The first version of House Joint Resolution 15 would have put the question of daylight saving time to voters on the 2020 ballot, asking if they want to stay on standard time all year, meaning earlier sunrises and sunsets; stay on daylight saving time, with later sunrises and sunsets; or keep the status quo, with people changing their clocks twice a year.

Now, HJR 15 supports Rep. Rob Bishop’s Daylight Act to allow states to decide for themselves whether to participate in daylight saving time. Resolution sponsor Marsha Judkins, a Republican representative from Provo, said there are over 30 states with more than 60 bills this year addressing setting the clocks forward and back. Judkins says current federal law prohibits states from adhering to daylight saving time year round, and Bishop’s legislation would give states that option.

“Some people might think it’s a frivolous thing, but it really does have impacts—some very detrimental impacts to change our clocks," Judkins said. "I am not going to argue whether we should go to standard time or daylight saving time year round, but I’m just going to say that changing our clock has real impacts to our health, to our psychological health and to our society, to our productivity.”

Brian Anderson testified against the resolution as an advocate for changing the clocks twice per year. He says it’s not difficult or time-consuming to make the adjustment, and he figures most people get a different amount of sleep night to night, anyway.

“Nobody complains about getting the hour of sleep in the fall, but when you lose it in the spring, people think that’s dangerous or bad," Anderson said. "I’d be hard-pressed to point to anybody that gets the same hours of sleep every night.”

Several bills addressing daylight saving time have been presented at the Utah Legislature throughout the years, without success. On Monday, HJR 15 passed the full House on a 63-12 vote and now moves on to the Senate for consideration.