Daylight Saving Time and Arizona
Arizona Republic reporter Scott Craven explains daylight saving time, which begins on the second Sunday in March — at least for most of the United States, but not here in Arizona.
A bill passed by the Senate that would make DST permanent would not affect Arizona if it becomes law.
The legislation, called the Sunshine Protection Act, would not extend to states such as Arizona except for the Navajo Nation, which does not observe daylight saving time.
Hawaii, the only other state not to advance its clocks, would also be exempt.
The bill, which passed Tuesday with unanimous consent, was introduced last March by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida.
Arizona is on Mountain Standard Time, which is also Pacific Daylight Time, three hours behind the East Coast.
If the legislation became law, Arizona and California would still be on the same time.
While Arizona could decide to switch to Mountain Daylight Time, the idea is unpopular in the state. In 2015, state Rep. Phil Lovas, R-Peoria, unsuccessfully introduced the 2014 House Bill, which would have struck down a 1968 state law opting out of the federal Uniform Time Act.
The Sunshine Protection Act has yet to be approved by the House. If the legislation is passed, most Americans starting in 2023 will stop rolling back one hour in November.
The United States has experimented with permanent daylight saving time in the past. In order to save energy, President Richard Nixon signed into law a bill to keep the United States on daylight saving time for 24 months beginning in January 1974. However, Congress changed the law nine months later to return to standard time for part of the year. Support for the law has plummeted due to later winter sunrises.
The United States has observed daylight saving time throughout its history, beginning in 1918 as part of an effort to save fuel during World War I. Originally called “War Time”, the practice ended in 1919 only to be reintroduced by President Franklin Roosevelt in the mid-1940s during World War II.
While the inventor of daylight saving time is disputed, many attribute it to Benjamin Franklin in a letter to the Journal de Paris in 1784.
Tara Kavaler is a political reporter at The Arizona Republic. She can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @kavalertara.