Utah lawmakers are one vote away from placing The Beehive State on year-round daylight saving time — if Congress allows such a move and neighboring states follow suit.
Members of the House Government Operations Committee voted unanimously on Friday to endorse SB59 and advance it to the full House for consideration. The bill passed in the Utah Senate on a vote of 25-2 earlier this month.
“Frankly, there is absolutely no good reason to change the clocks twice a year,” said Rep. Brad Daw, R-Orem.
Federal law currently allows states to opt out of daylight saving time and remain on standard time year-round. The Utah Legislature passed a resolution last year urging Congress to allow states the option of year-round daylight time, and SB59 would take effect if that change is made at the federal level and if at least four other Western states similarly move to permanent daylight time.
Committee members heard from representatives of the Utah Medical Association and Utah Parent Teacher Association, both speaking in favor of the legislation. And Ryan Peterson, of the Utah Golf Alliance, said that moving away from daylight saving time to standard time would be detrimental to evening golf during the summer months.
“We’re not married to the idea of changing clocks,” Peterson said. “We’re married to the idea of having daylight during the summer.”
But George Chapman, a community activist, argued agains the bill, saying it could exacerbate the time differences between neighboring states and impact Utah’s standing as a transportation hub.
“We shouldn’t be going back to a patchwork quilt,” he said.