DENVER (KDVR) — Come Nov. 5, Coloradans will once again have to change their clocks and fall back into standard time after months of daylight saving time.
This is despite a bill passed in the Colorado legislature and signed into law in 2022 to keep the state on Mountain Daylight Time permanently.
Colorado state Rep. Cathy Kipp, who co-sponsored the 2022 bill, explained that the reason this has not happened yet is that states are not allowed to opt into permanent daylight time — only to opt out.
This is due to how the Uniform Time Act of 1966, which mandated daylight saving time nationwide, works.
Two states — Hawaii and Arizona — have chosen to permanently reside on standard time, while 19 states have passed legislation to keep the extra daylight hour year-round.
Kipp said she does not believe that Congress will pass a law allowing each state to permanently opt in, but will instead pass something to standardize daylight time nationwide.
“If Congress were to allow it, they’re going to make it a nationwide standard,” Kipp said.
In 2022, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to pass the Sunshine Protection Act, which would have done just that — mandate DST nationwide, unless states decide to opt out.
That bill died in the House of Representatives, however.
Bill could have kept Colorado on standard time
Kipp explained that there were actually two bills introduced in 2022 aimed at stopping the biannual tradition. The other bill was in favor of the opposite — staying on standard time permanently.
But what was the reason for the conflicting bills?
“Most of us just want the clock to not change,” Kipp explained.
However, because of a preference in the legislature for more daylight hours, this bill failed.
“The people who like daylight time — there’s more of them because people tend to want to have more time after work, as opposed to having it be darker,” Kipp said.
What permanent DST would look like
If Congress were to pass a nationwide bill mandating daylight time year-round, you would definitely be able to notice a few differences.
For one, the 4:30 p.m. winter sunsets you see on the Front Range would happen at 5:30 p.m. The tradeoff, however, would be that the sun wouldn’t rise until at least 8 a.m. for two months out of the year.
The way things are now, the latest the sun ever rises in Denver is 7:21 a.m. This happens between the tail-end of December through mid-January. With permanent daylight, this would happen at 8:21 a.m.