DENVER (KDVR) — Would you like to live in a state where you don’t need to adjust your clocks twice a year for daylight saving time? A bill currently being discussed in the Colorado General Assembly could pave the way for that to happen.
“We see more mental health issues more heart attacks more traffic accidents around those times of year,” state Rep. Cathy Kipp said.
Federal law says that daylight time applies from 2 a.m. on the second Sunday of March until 2 a.m. on the first Sunday of November unless an area specifically exempts itself. Currently, Hawaii and Arizona are the only exempt states, although several U.S. territories also have exemptions.
“You can’t go to daylight saving time prior to Congress passing a law. We all know how much harder it is for Congress to pass a law than here in the state,” Kipp said.
Nineteen other states, including Utah and Wyoming, are seeking federal approval to eliminate the time change and stay under daylight time year-round.
“We are looking at a companion bill to this one that would like start in the House and that would be for daylight saving time,” Kipp said.
The Colorado bill, however, would not need federal approval because it would have the state stay in standard time all year and eliminate daylight time.
Daylight saving time became standardized in 1966 when the Uniform Time Act set a standard for clock settings and the change to daylight time across the country.
However, according to SB 22-135 research shows changing the clocks in spring and fall negatively impacts businesses and lowers workplace productivity. The bill also cites research that shows an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes in the days immediately following the change.
“I think people would vote to get rid of daylight savings. I don’t think people find it useful anymore,” Colorado resident Laura Boschini said.
Currently, sunrise in Denver is around 5:30 a.m. in June and sunset is around 8:30 p.m. If approved, this bill would have that summer sunrise at 4:30 a.m. and the sun would set around 7:30 p.m.
The bill approved by Utah’s elected leaders has the state staying at daylight saving time year-round. If approved at the federal level, this means that instead of winter sunrises in Salt Lake City being around 7:50 a.m., they would move to 8:50 a.m. and sunsets would move from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.
“For the last decade or even more, we’ve tried to lock the clock in Colorado ’cause Coloradans are just sick of it,” state Sen. Ray Scott, of District 7, said.
The difference between these two states comes down to a debate about whether it’s better to have an earlier sunrise, as Colorado’s bill would see it handled, or a later sunset, per Utah’s bill.
“For me personally, it’s sleep. It’s amazing how that one-hour difference affects your body clock,” Scott said.
The Colorado bill is currently being discussed by legislators and if approved would go on the ballot in November for voters to decide.
Sens. Jeff Bridges (D-Arapahoe County ) and Ray Scott (R-Mesa County) and Rep. Cathy Kipp (D-Larimer County) are the primary sponsors for the bill.