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daylight savings time

Lummis, Barrasso Praise Senate’s Passage Of Daylight Savings Bill

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A vote by the U.S. Senate to make daylight savings time permanent in the United States is being hailed by both of Wyoming’s senators.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed the bill that would make daylight savings time permanent in 2023, rather than having the country switch between daylight savings time and standard time twice a year. U.S. Sens. Cynthia Lummis and John Barrasso said they thought their colleagues made the right choice is passing the legislation.

“Changing technology means that farmers, ranchers and folks in the agriculture industry do not need to rely on something like a biannual time change to help them do their jobs,” Lummis told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday. “At this point, Daylight Savings has become more of a headache for parents and schoolchildren than a help for our agriculture industry, and I think it is time we bring it to an end.”

On Sunday, most of the United States returned to daylight savings time, “springing” forward one hour, an event Barrasso said was marked even in church.

“This is an issue I hear about at home in Wyoming in the grocery store and at church every time we have to change the clocks,” Barrasso told Cowboy State Daily on Wednesday. “We even began church service on Sunday in Casper with the choir singing a song they had written about the changing of the clocks. Making daylight savings time permanent will make a lot of people in Wyoming very happy.”

In November, clocks will be set back one hour with the return to standard time.

The bill will now head to the U.S. House of Representatives and if the House approves the bill, it will go to the desk of President Joe Biden for his signature.

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney did not respond to a request for comment on the bill.

If the bill becomes law, the change to daylight savings time in the spring of 2023 will be the last time change in the United States.

Wyoming already has a law in place, approved in 2020, calling for the state to adopt daylight savings time on a permanent basis if three other Western states adopt similar legislation and Congress approves a law allowing states to make such a change.

The bill was sponsored by Rep. Dan Laursen, R-Powell. Laursen did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

According to Reuters, daylight savings time has been in place in nearly all of the United States since the 1960s after being first tried in 1918. Year-round daylight savings time was used during World War II and adopted again in 1973 in a bid to reduce energy use because of an oil embargo and repealed a year later.

The bill passed by the Senate on Tuesday would allow Arizona and Hawaii, which do not observe daylight saving time, to remain on standard time as well as American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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Daylight Saving Time Makes Representative Tired of Changing Clocks

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Alarm clock

By Seneca Flowers, Cowboy State Daily

This Sunday at 2 a.m., the clocks get set back one hour to complete the time-honored tradition of daylight saving time. 

Fall back is often seen as the lesser of the two sleep-disrupting time changing evils, but one state representative has had enough of the clock setting altogether and wants Wyoming out.

Rep. Dan Laursen, R-Powell, has pushed a bill in the Legislature to try to change the return to standard time for the past four years. He’s gotten close too.

Related: Daylight Savings bill clears Senate committee

“Last year, it died on the third reading,” Laursen said.

 Legislative records show the bill won final approval from the House but failed in the Senate on a vote of 15 to 15. For those who don’t remember how bills become laws, that’s basically choking in the last inning while the last guy is at bat.

According to Laursen, it is a shame too, because he said he has read studies that show the annual time change has significant impacts on students who must adjust to the earlier mornings in spring.

“It takes about two weeks to recover,” according to Larsen.

And for some people, that groggy pace is real. The Sleep Foundation recommends people start gradually adapting 10 days before the time change by adjusting bedtime and wake up time by about 10-15 minutes each day. 

Have you done that already this year? Laursen suggested probably not, and said he has a simper solution — stop switching to daylight savings time and remain on standard time year-round.

“Just lock the clock,” he said.

He doesn’t see any reason to stay on the existing system.  Research may be on his side. Studies that have shown vehicle crashes increase, heart attacks increase and mental health declines with the switch to daylight saving time, according to Timeanddate.com.

Although Wyomingites often seem independent-minded compared to the rest of the country, on the issue of daylight saving time gives, they hesitate before abandoning the status quo.

“They are independent-minded until you start talking about daylight saving time, then they are like sheep,” Laursen said.

Currently, Hawaii and Arizona are the only states that have done away with daylight saving time. 

The bill Laursen sponsored would require three neighboring states to also abandon daylight savings time before Wyoming could make the shift so the state isn’t an odd duck out.

In addition, the federal government would have to approve any change. Laursen said he just wants to wake people up to the option.

“We should just change it,” he said. “A lot of people don’t like it, so it’s a good discussion.”

Laursen has had this discussion for nearly a decade and failed to pass the bill year after year.

“I’m gonna do it again,” Laursen said. 

Wyoming Legislature: Where they are

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Wyoming Legislature bill analysis where they are

By Cowboy State Daily

Here is a look at the status of some of the bills being considered by Wyoming’s Legislature during its general session:

  • HB 14 — Creating the “Mountain Daylight Savings Time” zone for Wyoming. Defeated in Senate “Committee of the Whole.”
  • HB 38 — Raising legislative expense reimbursements from $109 per day to $149. Awaiting governor’s signature.
  • HB 52 — Giving preference to Wyoming-made products in furnishing state buildings. Awaiting governor’s signature.
  • HB 66 — Setting a statewide lodging tax of 5 percent. Introduced in Senate, referred to Travel, Recreation, Wildlife and Cultural Resources Committee.
  • HB 71 — Raising the penalty for violating equal pay rules to $500 per day. Awaiting governor’s signature.
  • HB 140 — Imposing a 48-hour waiting period to perform abortions. No action will be taken in Senate committee before the end of session.
  • HB 145 — Eliminating the death penalty. Killed in Senate “Committee of the Whole.”
  • HB 192 — Requiring photo ID to vote. Killed on third reading in House.
  • HB 220 — Imposing an income tax on out-of-state companies with business locations in Wyoming. Introduced in Senate, referred to Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Comittee.
  • HB 251 — Authorizing Wyoming to sue the state of Washington over it refusal to allow the construction of a coal port. Introduced in Senate, referred to Senate Minerals Committee.
  • HJ 1 — Asking the federal government to delist the grizzly bear. Awaiting governor’s signature.
  • SF 46 — Limiting the length of a prescription of opioids to 14 days. Introduced by House, referred to Labor, Health and Social Services Committee.
  • SF 57 — Setting a deadline for the release of public documents by government agencies. Approved on second reading in House.
  • SF 119 — Making all expenditures by the state auditor’s office public and available for review. Introduced in House, referred to House Appropriations Committee.
  • SF 129 — Repealing requirements for reports from the state Department of Education. Joint conference committee appointed to resolve House and Senate differences.
  • SF 148 — Allowing the state to seize and operate federal facilities — including national parks — under certain conditions. Killed in House Minerals Committee.
  • SF 149 — Creating a “Capitol Complex” around the state Capitol and giving the state building commission authority for planning in the area. Approved by House Rules Committee.
  • SF 160 — Requiring changes in voter party affiliation to take place two weeks before absentee ballots are distributed. Introduced in House, referred to House Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee.
  • SJ 3 — Declaring Dec. 10, 2019, as Wyoming Women’s Suffrage Day. Signed into law by governor.

In Brief: Bill for year-round Daylight Savings Time dies

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By Cowboy State Daily

A measure that would have put Wyoming on Daylight Savings Time throughout the year died in the Senate on Thursday.

HB 14 was killed on a 15-15 vote in the Senate in its first review by the full body. The bill needed at least 16 positive votes to move forward in the process.

The bill would have put Wyoming on Daylight Savings Time year-round only if three neighboring states had agreed to make the same change.

Daylight Savings Time bill clears Senate committee

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Alarm clock with two tone background, ALT=time zone, daylight savings

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.

Weekly wrap: Corporate income tax moves ahead, party switch bill dead

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By Cowboy State Daily

A thumbs up for income taxes on large companies and putting Wyoming permanently on daylight savings time, a thumbs down for a personal income tax in the Legislature this week.

Lawmakers wrapped up their third week of action Friday after having taken care of a number of bills, including HB 233, which would have imposed a 4 percent income tax on people making more than $200,000 a year. The bill died in the House Revenue Committee, but another, imposing a 4 percent income tax on large retailers with headquarters outside of Wyoming, won final approval in the House. HB 220, also called the National Retail Fairness act, now heads to the Senate for review.

A bill that would have put restrictions on when voters can change their party affiliation was also killed this week, dying in the Senate Corporations Committee. SF 32 would have required people changing party affiliation to do so before candiates begin filing for office in May. Two similar bills are awaiting review in the House and Senate.

Also killed this week was a bill aimed at exempting some senior citizens from property taxes. HB 128 would have granted an exemption to seniors who have owned their homes for at least three years.

Meanwhile, a bill to declare Dec. 10 2019 as “Wyoming Women’s Suffrage Day” cleared the Senate with no opposition. SJ 3 now moves to the House for its review.

In addition, a bill keeping Wyoming on daylight savings time year-round won approval in its second House vote.

Personal income tax dies, corporate tax moves ahead

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By Cowboy State Daily

Two bills proposing Wyoming’s first income taxes met with different fates on Friday in Wyoming’s House.

One bill proposing an income tax on individuals died in the House Revenue Committee, while another proposing a 7 percent tax on large out-of-state retailers doing business in Wyoming won approval in its final House review.

The individual tax bill, HB 233, would have imposed a 4 percent income tax on those making more than $200,000 per year.

Sponsor Rep. Cathy Connolly, D-Laramie, said she suggested the measure as a way to begin a discussion on a possible statewide income tax, especially given recommendations to remove the state’s sales tax exemption on food.

“Who should be paying that extra amount?” she said. “Is it the most vulnerable among us? Or is it those with the means to do so? So I want that conversation out there.”

Connolly said the bill would have raised $200 million a year for education.

The corporate tax bill, HB220, was moved out of the House on a vote of 44-14.

Also called the “National Retail Fairness Act,” the measure would impose a 7 percent income tax on large businesses whose headquarters are in other states.

Sponsors of the bill argue that large retailers, such as WalMart, charge the same for their products in Wyoming as they do in states with income taxes, such as Nebraska. Since the price of the income tax is built into the price of the product, that means Wyoming residents are helping to pay the income taxes charged in other states, backers argued.

Today at the Wyoming Legislature: Party switching, tax break bills die in House

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By Cowboy State Daily

Bills on party switching, daylight savings time and a property tax exemption for seniors were all on the table at the Wyoming Legislature on Thursday.

A bill that would have limited when voters can change their party affiliations, SF 32, was killed for a second time by the Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee.

The committee on Wednesday refused to send the bill to the Senate for a review by the full body. But committee Chair Sen. Bill Landen, R-Casper, said there was interest in the Senate in seeing the bill, so he asked committee members to reconsider their vote Thursday. Members voted again not to send the bill forward.

The bill would have specified voters could only switch party affiliation before the filing period for candidates for office in early May. Two more bills aimed at putting similar restrictions in place are pending in both the Senate and House

House members killed by a vote of 29-27 a bill that would have removed the names of public employees from published lists of what counties and cities pay their employees. Current law requires that the names, positions and salaries of public employees be published.

A measure that would put Wyoming on daylight savings time year-round won approval in its “Committee of the Whole” review in the House. HB 14 will receive its second review in the House on Friday.

However, representatives voted 37-20 to kill a vote that would have granted property tax exemptions for some over the age of 65. HB 128 would have made seniors exempt from property taxes if they had owned their home for at least three years.

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