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Despite An Approved Bill for Year-Round Daylight Saving Time, Utah Still Changed The Clock Sunday

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Last weekend was the end of daylight saving time. The clocks changed despite legislation that was passed earlier this year.

A bill that made its way through the legislative session earlier this year would keep daylight saving time in place year-round. But even though the bill made it through the house and senate and the governor signed it, Utahns still set back their clocks last Sunday. 

That’s because the bill was contingent on two things that have not yet happened. Republican Senator Wayne Harper, of Taylorsville, sponsored the bill. He said they need four other western states to pass similar legislation - and so far they’re close to meeting that requirement.

“So right now we have Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington that have all adopted it,” Harper said. “However, Washington and Oregon are contingent upon California passing it so that the entire Pacific Coast can stop changing clocks together.”

Once California passes the bill, then there is another contingency, which requires the national government to pass legislation. But Harper said it could take a little longer to meet this prerequisite. 

“What we're really waiting on is for U.S. Congress to go through and pass a bill,” he said. “We've got two bills that are introduced. They've been numbered and waiting for hearings. But with all the political stuff that's been going on in DC, neither one of them move very far.”

He said once both contingencies are met, it’ll impact workers in the travel industry, because as it stands time changes make scheduling difficult. 

“Airlines, buses, long Haul freight things that have to go through and figure out when they're delivering, what time they take off, if it's time change during the flight,” he said. “If so, how does that affect people's schedules and connections when they land.”

And not only is the time change an inconvenience, but it also has negative impacts on people’s health. 

“Studies have shown that, that there is increased depression, suicide, anxiety, heart attacks, things like that, that happen,” he said. “After you change the clocks, people that have epilepsy, there are more seizures within the three weeks following a change of the clock. So you've got the medical reasons.”

Harper said the reason why the country falls back is outdated. 

“It was initially set up so that kids could walk to school in daylight all the time,” he said. “Well, nowadays, most kids don't walk to school, they're either dropped off or they're bused. So that doesn't matter what you know, what the light is, when they go to school, because they're dropped off or I get to school grounds there's nothing on a safety issue or things like that, that they need to deal with.”

Harper said he’s not sure when the bill’s contingencies will be met, so it might be a while before Utah can finally do away with changing the clocks.


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