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Bills seek to retain Daylight Saving Time year-round

by Samir Knox | March 12, 2023 at 4:02 a.m.

With Daylight Saving Time beginning this morning, some Missouri lawmakers are attempting to permanently adopt Daylight Saving Time at the state level.

All attempts to pass such a law have failed for more than a decade.

"Other than a committee, in 15 years it never got very far," said Rep. Chris Sander, R-Lone Jack. "I filed it because, I guess, I wanted to see how far it can get."


Two bills establishing a "Daylight Saving Time as New Standard Time Pact" have been filed in the House this year. The pact would be an agreement between Missouri and any neighboring states to adhere to Daylight Saving Time permanently.

Every state that borders Missouri, except for Kentucky, has at least one active bill in its respective legislature that would also make Daylight Saving Time permanent.

Sander said he filed his version of the bill for the first time in 2020, after researching bills proposed by outgoing representatives.

"I think we already have Daylight Saving Time about nine months of the year, So why not do it 12 months out of the year? It's really just a hassle for people to try and find every clock that needs to be changed," Sander said.

Sander's bill, if passed, would make the next switch to Daylight Saving Time (following passage) the last switch. It would also create a pact with any other bordering states, allowing them to participate in "New Standard Time" if they have an appropriate trigger law in their state.

""We're in the Midwest, with eight states bordering Missouri, so I think that the holdup is we really need U.S. Congress to take action," Sander said.

The other bill, proposed by Rep. Michael O'Donnell, a St. Louis Republican, would bind Missouri to the Daylight Saving Time, but only when at least two states bordering Missouri adopt it first. Only then would Missouri join the "Daylight Saving as New Standard Time Pact."

O'Donnell's bill has gotten the most traction in the 2023 session. Sander's bill has yet to be assigned to a committee, but O'Donnell's was referred to the House Committee on Government Efficiency and Downsizing on Thursday. In the past two sessions, O'Donnell and Sander combined their bills.

"I don't care who passes it, I would love to see a time change, quickly," Sander said.

The issue got the most traction in the Legislature in 2021, after Sander and O'Donnell's combined bill made it onto the Senate floor for debate. The bill still ultimately failed to pass.

Sander claimed that, at the federal level, a large amount of waste was created by monitoring and consistently changing clocks so frequently.

"There's at least 60 to 70 people that work in the U.S. Department of Commerce. They have a salary, and it's their job to keep track of any time changes twice a year," Sander said. "They also adjust clocks by fractions of a second, if it needs to be adjusted. I think it's a waste of government payroll to have 60 or 70 people on salary for the whole year to use taxpayer dollars to monitor twice-yearly time changes."

In 2022, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would have made Daylight Saving Time permanent, but the bill ended up failing to make it through the House for a vote. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida reintroduced the same bill in 2023, called the "Sunshine Protection Act."

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