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Utah lawmakers reject move to cancel daylight saving time

Utah lawmakers again denied an initiative that sought to opt the state out of daylight saving time.
Utah lawmakers again denied an initiative that sought to opt the state out of daylight saving time.
Tom Smart, Deseret Morning News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers have again denied an initiative that sought to opt the state out of daylight saving time.

SCR1 would have switched Utah to Central Standard Time and eliminated the twice-a-year switch, permanently putting the state one hour ahead of its place in Mountain Standard Time, according to bill sponsor Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan.

Last year, the Governor's Office of Economic Development polled about 27,000 Utahns, 67 percent of whom supported aligning with Arizona in permanent Mountain Standard Time. Almost one-fifth of Utahns supported permanently aligning with Central Standard Time. Only 15 percent favored the status quo.

But lawmakers on Wednesday agreed that a more in-depth study was needed to look at the economic impacts of the change. Linda Hull, policy and legislative services director for the Utah Department of Transportation, said that study would have to look at what the change would mean for individual businesses, large and small.

"We'd need to go and do that on a statewide effort, to find out what it would mean for businesses in our communities," Hull said.

The resolution was finally struck down 3-1 after motions to "recommend failed" and to "postpone action" both failed, and the Senate Government Operations and Political Subdivisions Committee reached a consensus to move it back to to the rules committee.

Osmond said he agreed with the need for more research on how the change would affect Utah companies and residents, but that it remains obvious the majority of Utahns want to stop "springing forward" and "falling back."

"There's an enormous number of issues that are associated with this change that need to be studied in more depth," Osmond said. "But at the same time, I'm disappointed because the public has spoken. They want us to make a change."

Osmond said it was possible that a similar initiative could come before the Legislature next year, though he didn't say whether he would sponsor it.

Email: mjacobsen@deseretnews.com, Twitter: MorganEJacobsen