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.
“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.