SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – Clocks around the world will fall back one hour this weekend, but if one state lawmaker has his way, this time change could be one of Utah’s last.
“It’s a pain in the butt,” said Utahn, Ginessa Delange.
“I like it to be light. I want to play until 10:30 at night,” Delange’s friend, Mary Ellen disagreed.
“I don’t think it’s much of an issue anymore, maybe, unless you’re trying to party until that extra hour,” said Ernesto Flores, another pedestrian in Salt Lake City, Friday morning.
Let’s face it.
Utahns do not all agree and never will, but that is why Utah Rep. Norm Thurston (R,) is proposing a statewide vote to decide how to handle Daylight Saving Time once and for all.
“In years past, there have been [lawmakers] who’ve had specific proposals — ‘Well, this is what we ought to do, or ‘That’s what we ought to do,’ and it’s never made any progress,” Thurston explained, adding that he is tired of talking about the topic year after year.
He says at least five legislative proposals to do away with Daylight Saving Time have failed over the past five years, but he says no one has proposed actually putting it on the ballot.
“This is a way of getting some finality,” he explained.
Daylight Saving Time first came to be about 100 years ago. The whole idea was to match clocks to the sun in order to maximize light for longer, more productive days, and to conserve energy. But Thurston claims it is not doing anyone any good anymore.
“The research shows that on net, the changing of the clocks is actually bad for people. It’s bad for the economy,” he told Good 4 Utah’s Ali Monsen.
Utah’s last survey on the topic (by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development) showed 66.5 percent of respondents want to stop turning back clocks altogether. It found 15.4 percent are in favor of keeping the current system.
If Utah does do away with Daylight Saving Time, the state’s only option would be going to what Thurston calls ‘morning light’ all year round, meaning Utah would always have more daylight in the mornings, instead of it staying light later in the evenings during summertime.
“The federal government will not allow a state to be on evening light all year round, you can’t do that during the winter for some reason,” Thurston said.
If Thurston’s bill does go through this legislative session, the issue go on the ballot for voters to decide during the next general election.
Currently, Arizona and Hawaii are the only two states that do not observe Daylight Saving Time, but several states are currently considering proposals to opt-out as well.