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Daylight Savings Time bill clears Senate committee

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By Cowboy State Daily

A bill to keep Wyoming on Daylight Savings Time throughout the year has been approved by a Senate committee and will next be reviewed by the full body.

HB 14 was unanimously approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee on Friday despite arguments that such a measure would put Wyoming out-of-step with neighboring states.

Before the change can take effect, three neighboring states must agree to the change as well. Sen. Charles Scott, R-Casper, said two of those three states must be Colorado and Montana, otherwise, it would cause considerable confusion in doing business.

Scott compared the situation to one he said existed in Casper in the late 1950s or early 1960s, when part of the city switched to Daylight Savings Time and the rest did not.

“And if you made an appoitment, you had to ask which time it was because people in some businesses stayed on one time and other changed and there was total confusion,” he said.

Opponents have also argued that the annual switch between Daylight Savings and Standard times help reduce energy use, but supporters of the bill disagreed.

“There is no real reason and it doesn’t make any sense any more,” said Sen. Michael Von Flatern, R-Gillette. “So let’s move our state over to (Daylight Savings) time and make it permanent year-round.”

Daylight Savings Time was adopted in the United States during both World Wars I and II, but there was no standardized system for changing the clocks until 1966.

The bill is awaiting its first review in the full Senate.

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