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Time to ditch biannual daylight saving switch?

SALT LAKE CITY — Does anyone really know what time it is?

Rep. Kenneth Sumsion, R-American Fork, has been thinking about that for years.

And while he may not find the answer in the band Chicago's hit song, he just may have an answer in whether to stick with Mountain Daylight Time or Mountain Standard Time — and not switching between the two each year.

"Over time, I've had so many constituents say they hate switching," said Sumsion, who Wednesday introduced HB288.

So his bill, with an accompanying amendment, will open a dialogue that simply says: Pick Mountain Daylight Time or pick Mountain Standard Time and stay on that all 12 months.

No more springing forward and falling back.

No more resetting the clocks in your house and trying to remember how the heck you change the time on your car's digital or face-number clocks.

Arizona is now the only state in the continental U.S. that doesn't follow daylight saving time. So it is out of sync with surrounding states for part of the year.

One way or the other, depending on whether Utah legislators pick Mountain Daylight Time or Mountain Standard Time, the Beehive State would join that minority.

Sumsion doesn't have a favorite. He just thinks it's time to have the discussion.

Yes, a change could mean that the sun would set in the winter around 4 p.m. "But it would be daylight" when Utahns got going in the morning, he said.

"How many of us really are enjoying the outdoors in the winter? Not many," Sumsion said.

Ski resort operators likely would have to shoo skiers and snowboarders off the slopes before the sun goes down, but they would just open an hour earlier in the morning.

While it is obvious on its face, Sumsion says with a smile that Utahns should not think state government is trying to take an hour out of the day.

There would still be 24 hours in the day. There would still be the same hours and minutes of daylight and darkness, depending on where the Earth is in its yearly trip around the sun.

"It's a question of convenience and what we really want," Sumsion said.

e-mail: bbjr@desnews.com