Lawmaker introduces bill to take Montana off of “Daylight Saving Time”

Posted at 11:26 AM, Feb 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-16 12:26:21-05

Montana is currently in "Standard Time," but on Sunday, March 12th, 2017, Daylight Saving Time will once again be implemented, and clocks will "spring forward" one hour. The change officially occurs at 2 a.m. on that date.

Some people enjoy the twice-yearly ritual of tinkering with time, feeling that "springing forward" or "falling back" helps to usher in a more seasonal atmosphere.

Other people, however, don’t like the idea of trying to trick our bodies and our daily routines by adjusting the clocks.

MT State Senator Ryan Osmundson (R-Buffalo) has introduced a bill in the state Legislature to exempt Montana from the time-change.

Senate Bill 206, with the short title of "Provide for Montana standard time," states:

Section 1.  Montana standard time. 

(1) The standard time in Montana is the mountain standard time zone as defined in 15 U.S.C. 261.

(2) The state of Montana is exempt from daylight savings time, as allowed by federal law.

(3) This section may not affect federal laws governing:

(a) the movements of common carriers engaged in interstate commerce or foreign commerce; or

(b) the timing of an act by an officer or department of the United States, as established by statute, order, rule, or regulation.

This is not the first time a Montana lawmaker has tried to tinker with time.

For instance, in the 2011 Legislature, MT State Representative Kris Hansen (R-Havre) introduced a similar proposal to take Montana off of the time-changing standard.

The proposal stated: "The state of Montana rejects switching between standard time and daylight saving time and elects to remain on daylight saving time in Montana throughout the year." The bill was tabled in committee and no further action was taken.

The NASA website explains the origin of Daylight Saving Time:

In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed an act into law whereby Daylight Saving Time begins on the last Sunday of April and ends on the last Sunday of October each year. However, any State can opt out of Daylight Saving Time by passing a State law.

Hawaii does not observe Daylight Saving Time and neither does Arizona (although the Navajo Nation, in northeastern Arizona, does). For many years, most of Indiana did not observe Daylight Saving Time with the exception of 10 counties. Beginning in 2006, all of Indiana now observes Daylight Saving Time.

Until 2007, the return to Standard Time occurred on the last Sunday of October, but in 2005, Congress changed the date to the first Sunday of November.

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