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.