Efforts are underway in some areas to do away with the time change. Many believe it no longer serves a financial or practical purpose, and claim it’s detrimental to health, productivity, and well-being. Have times changed enough to justify no longer needing to change the time?

Legislative History of Daylight Saving Time

The idea of daylight saving was first conjured up by Benjamin Franklin in 1784. This is what’s happened to his idea since then:

  • A federal law called the Standard Time Act was passed in 1918, officially establishing time zones and defining daylight saving months. This was during World War I, and the law sought to conserve materials for the war effort. The strategy was to correlate daytime hours better with natural light, so that fewer tasks would need to be done at night and homes would need to stay lit less after dark.
  • Daylight saving time (DST) was revoked after WWI. It wasn’t reinstated until World War II, when food conservation became mandatory. It was called “War Time” and lasted from early February until the end of September.
  • After WWII, “Peace Time” took effect again and daylight saving time became a matter of local law.
  • From 1945 to 1966, there was no federal law regarding daylight saving time. Because of the confusion that resulted from different areas operating on different times, the Uniform Time Act was passed in 1966 to resolve the problem. States could now choose to opt out of daylight saving time, bypassing local ordinances. While states are no longer required to observe daylight saving time, if they do, they must follow the starting and ending dates set by federal law.
  • During the energy crisis of 1974 to 1975, Congress extended DLS in order to save energy.
  • From 1986 to 2006, DST started on the first Sunday in April to the last Sunday in October.
  • Due to federal passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, daylight saving time was changed from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November, starting in 2007.

 

State Laws on Daylight Saving Time

Daylight saving time is NOT observed in Hawaii, Puerto Rico the Virgin Islands American Samoa, Guam, and Arizona (with the exception of the Navajo Indian Reservation in Arizona).

Indiana had a complex time system until April 2005, when it passed a law agreeing to observe daylight saving time as of April 2006. Prior to then, Indiana was split into various time zones, with some of the state observing DST, while the majority did not.

The legislative battle to unify Indiana’s system was hard fought. Until it passed, more bills proposing DST had failed more than two dozen times. However, traveling through Indiana can still be a bewildering experience: 74 Indiana counties observe Eastern Daylight Time, while the remaining 18 counties now observe Central Daylight Time.

A study on daylight saving time in Indiana actually found that it increased residential electricity demand. The study called “Does Daylight Saving Time Save Energy? Evidence From a Natural Experiment in Indiana”. (PDF file) examined electricity use when portions of Indiana finally started to observe DST.

Is it Time to Change the Law Instead of the Time?

Times have changed quite a bit since Ben Franklin first proposed changing our clocks. There are various petitions to change the daylight saving time laws on both the federal and national levels. Some politicians have introduced bills supporting a repeal of daylight saving time. Weigh in and let your legislators know if you support repealing the law. Thanks to our modern technology, First Amendment rights can now be aired at any hour of the day.

November 3, 2014
Dayligt saving time

Time to Repeal Daylight Saving Time?

Efforts are underway in some areas to do away with the time change. Many believe it no longer serves a financial or practical purpose, and claim […]