The Potluck

Minnesota lawmakers look to eliminate biannual clock changes

By: - April 19, 2022 12:15 pm

Never spring forward or fall back again.

Minnesota already has a law on the books that would make daylight saving time permanent in the state should the U.S. government allow it. That passed last year and was suddenly relevant when the U.S. Senate recently passed a bill mandating year-round daylight saving time, meaning the sun would set later on the clock year round. The U.S. House hasn’t acted on it.

Minnesota lawmakers are now considering a bill to keep the clocks in place beginning in 2030, even if Congress doesn’t act.  Because current federal law bans states from enacting permanent daylight saving time, the Minnesota bill would mean permanent standard time.

Getting rid of spring forward and fall back has bipartisan support.

Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, included the measure to keep Minnesota on standard time in the Senate’s large transportation bill. Although there is currently no companion bill in the House, Rep. Mike Freiberg, DFL-Golden Valley, a key player in the clock debate, supports it. He authored the 2021 bill to make daylight saving time permanent if Congress acts.

“I just want to get rid of the clock change,” Freiberg said. “I don’t care which one we go on, although I do think whichever one we go on you’ll get pushback.”

The U.S. government effectively banned states from adopting permanent daylight saving time through the Uniform Time Act of 1966, although states and territories may choose to use standard time year-round.

While early risers tend to prefer standard time for the extra sunlight in the mornings, permanent daylight saving time has picked up political momentum.

Eighteen states have passed laws to enact permanent daylight saving time if permitted by Congress, but just two states — Arizona and Hawaii — have adopted permanent standard time.

Researchers say maintaining permanent daylight saving time would have positive effects on sleep, public safety and productivity.

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Max Nesterak
Max Nesterak

Max Nesterak is the deputy editor of the Reformer and reports on labor and housing. Most recently he was an associate producer for Minnesota Public Radio after a stint at NPR. He also co-founded the Behavioral Scientist and was a Fulbright Scholar to Berlin, Germany.

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