WASHINGTON — Daylight saving time begins Sunday, much to the annoyance of millions of Americans who will "spring forward" and lose an hour of sleep.
So why is daylight saving time a twice-yearly headache for the country?
Two states don't observe daylight saving time at all, refusing to roll their clocks forward and backward every year. But Hawaii and Arizona are outliers, relying on a loophole in a 57-year-old federal law that requires states to stay on daylight saving time.
That's right, Congress decides if we can have that extra hour of sleep.
The Uniform Time Act of 1966 mandates the country use daylight saving time, but allows states to opt out and exempt themselves from the practice.
What it doesn't allow is for states to permanently establish daylight saving time, so they would never "fall back" in November after moving their clocks forward in spring.
Many states have passed measures to stay on daylight saving time permanently — a move that some have called "lock the clock." For some states, they're willing to go forward with it as long as a few of their neighbors do the same.
In the last five years, 19 states have passed legislation or resolutions supporting year-round daylight saving time, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
There's even been a suggestion that some states leave the eastern time zone entirely and adopt a new one used by parts of Canada and a couple U.S. territories.
But none of those bills or laws can take effect until there is a federal appeal of the congressional act. In essence, Congress needs to repeal the law in order for the U.S. to stop using daylight saving time.
There have been efforts on the congressional level to make this change.
For the past few years, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has introduced a version of what he calls the "Sunshine Protection Act" which would permanently establish daylight saving time for the whole country.
Although it passed the Senate in 2022, the bill never got a vote in the House of Representatives and died there before that session of Congress ended. Rubio is hoping the Republican-led House this year could give his bill some momentum.
Here is where each state stands in the effort to move to daylight saving time all year long. Again, Congress would need to act before states that have enacted laws can make the change.
In May 2021, Alabama passed an act that would have the state permanently observe daylight saving time. That bill is still waiting on a federal appeal of the Uniform Time Act of 1966 to take effect
State Rep. Dan Ortiz introduced House Bill 31 in Feb. 2021 to recognize daylight saving year-round if Congress makes the move by 2030. The bill has been stalled in the state legislature since May 2022.
Even if it did pass, Alaska might not see the benefits other states could from ending daylight saving time. According to Alaska Public Media, it could make winters darker in the northernmost U.S. state.
“Nome would have a sunrise after 1pm,” Brian Brettschneider, a climatologist in Anchorage, told APM.
Arizona is one of the more well known examples of states not following DST. Instead, the state observes Mountain Standard Time year-round. But the Navajo Nation, which is partially in Arizona, does observe DST.
That means from May to November every year, Navajo Nation is an hour ahead of the rest of the state of Arizona.
In Dec. 2022, State Rep. Johnny Rye introduced a bill to the Arkansas House which would adopt year-round DST. But on Jan. 9, 2023, he withdrew the bill and recommended its effects be studied by a committee on governmental affairs.
Rye tried to pass a similar bill in 2020. That bill passed the House 71-24 and made it to the Senate committee of State Agencies and Government Affairs, but it failed to pass during the legislative session.
In 2018, voters approved a proposition allowing the state legislature to pass legislation that would put California on permanent DST. Several legislators, including most recently California Assembly member Steven Choi, have attempted to pass such a bill. But each time, the legislation has either been pulled or has died in committee.
Colorado is another state waiting on the federal government to enact permanent DST. In 2022, after years of failed attempts, the Colorado House unanimously passed a bipartisan bill that would make daylight saving permanent once the Uniform Time Act of 1966 is repealed.
Two bills in 2021 were introduced into the state legislature, both of which would have had Connecticut adopt Atlantic Standard Time (AST), dropping DST similarly to Arizona or Hawaii. But neither bill made it to a vote, leaving any time-related legislation in limbo.
Atlantic Standard Time, which is used in the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
In 2019, Delaware passed a bill for the state to permanently remain on daylight saving time, but it was contingent on Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland doing the same.
As with other bills of this nature, it would also depend on congressional action allowing states to permanently adopt DST.
Florida became the first state to pass a resolution to observe daylight saving time year-round, passing the legislation in 2018.
If Congress repeals the Uniform Time Act of 1966, it would go into effect immediately.
In 2021, Georgia's legislature passed a permanent daylight saving time law that was signed by Gov. Brian Kemp.
Congress must repeal the Uniform Time Act of 1966 for Georgia's bill to take effect.
Hawaii, like Arizona, doesn’t observe daylight saving time. Federal law permits states to opt out of daylight saving but does not allow them to observe it year-round.
In 2011, a bill was introduced to the Hawaii House that would have the state opt-in, but it never passed.
Idaho is a complicated case because it is divided among two time zones (Pacific Time for the northern half of the state and Mountain Time for the south). In 2020, the Idaho legislature passed a measure which would make DST permanent in the northern half of the state — but not the southern half — if the state of Washington also makes the permanent switch.
At least seven bills were introduced in the Illinois House in 2021 regarding daylight saving time. But none of these bills has ever made it past the state legislature. When the legislature's most recent session ended on Jan. 10, 2023, those bills died without getting a vote.
Indiana is another state split between two time zones. While the majority of counties in Indiana are in the Eastern time zone, 18 counties in the northwest and southwest parts of the state are in the Central time zone. The Indiana General Assembly's website shows no pending legislation in their current session related to daylight saving time.
The Iowa Legislature currently has a live bill that would make daylight saving time permanent. But even if HF 242 gets a vote and is signed into law by Gov. Kim Reynolds, it wouldn't take effect until there's federal approval.
The last time Kansas lawmakers put forward a daylight saving time bill was in 2019. That bill would have kept the state off of DST, but it died in 2020. If it had passed, that bill would have taken effect without congressional approval, because states are able to stop using DST, but aren't able to adopt it permanently without congressional action.
Kansas lawmakers have also proposed moving to daylight saving time year-round, but those proposals have failed to get a voted by the state legislature.
Kentucky's House of Representatives passed a resolution in 2020 that would make DST permanent for the state. But that appears to have been the end of the line for the bill, which didn't make it into law that year.
House Bill 132, making daylight saving time permanent in Louisiana, was signed into law in 2020. Like other permanent DST laws across the nation, it cannot go into effect while Congress keeps the Uniform Time Act of 1966 in place.
In 2019, Maine enacted a law to stay on Eastern Daylight Time all year long, but only if Congress acts to allow it. In 2021, Maine commissioned a study on the topic.
House Bill 165 would make DST permanent for Maryland. The bill, filed during the current legislative term, is currently in committee.
As usual, it would require congressional approval if passed.
This new bill comes after Maryland House Bill 1013, which would have done away with DST for the state, passed the House in 2021, but stalled in a Senate committee. A separate but similar Senate bill, SB 840, was also introduced in 2021 and ended up stalled in the same committee.
Massachusetts currently has a pair of concurrent bills moving through the House and the Senate, which would repeal DST and put the state exclusively on Eastern time. If passed in both chambers and signed into law by the governor, the change could take effect without Congress.
Michigan's House of Representatives passed a bill in April 2021 to move to year-round daylight saving time as long as Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania also made the switch. The Michigan bill was sent to the Senate, where it died in committee.
The Minnesota legislature approved a plan in 2021 to permanently observe daylight saving time, pending congressional approval.
Mississippi lawmakers passed legislation in 2021 for year-round daylight saving time, pending congressional approval.
In 2021, lawmakers in Missouri proposed a bill that would permanently put the state at daylight saving time, if three of eight bordering states follow suit. The Missouri House approved the plan, but the state Senate failed to vote on the measure before the session ended.
In 2023, there are two House bills under consideration that would make DST permanent. Either House Bill 157 or House Bill 265 could move to the Senate, but it's unclear if either would get a vote in the upper chamber.
Even if one does pass, it would still require congressional approval to be enacted.
Montana passed and signed into law in May 2021 a measure to keep the state in daylight saving time year-round if Congress or the U.S. Department of Transportation approves. Three of these states must also go on full-year daylight saving first: Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah or Wyoming.
A bill under consideration in the Nebraska legislature would move the state to daylight saving time year-round if three neighboring states also made the move. Wyoming and Colorado already have such legislation in place.
The plan would still require Congress to allow the time change before taking effect.
Nevada's current legislative session doesn't have any bills aimed at changing how the state observes daylight saving time.
The last bill to approach the subject was in 2021, and would have directed the state to adopt either Pacific Daylight Time or Pacific Standard Time year-round — depending on what California does — to keep time zones standardized throughout the region. But the bill died before a vote.
In 2021, a New Hampshire lawmaker filed a bill that would move the state to Atlantic Standard Time — similar to Connecticut's proposal — permanently. But that bill failed, and there is no current legislation on the table that would repeal or adopt permanent DST for the state.
A 2022 bill by New Jersey lawmakers in the State Senate was put forward that would put the state on daylight saving time permanently if Congress gives its approval. But that measure is still pending in the legislature.
A pair of New Mexico state senators put forward a bill in the 2023 legislative session that would exempt the state from daylight saving time like Arizona or Hawaii. But that bill remains stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
A pair of bills in the state assembly and senate seek to make DST permanent for New York. Both bills, which were filed in the current legislative session, are pending in committee.
The North Carolina House passed a bill in April 2021 adopting daylight saving time year-round. The bill was sent to the Senate, but didn't progress.
No bills dealing with daylight saving time have been filed in the current legislative session.
The most recent attempt to pass a permanent DST bill in North Dakota was killed in 2021, when the legislature voted it down.
The bill would have taken effect if Minnesota, Montana and South Dakota adopted similar measures.
According to Prairie Public Broadcasting, the bill's main sponsor didn't like the amendment requiring those other three states to be on board first, although Montana and Minnesota have passed bills to make the change.
Ohio State Rep. Rodney Creech has said he intends to file a bill in the state's current legislative session that would make DST permanent.
Creech filed a similar bill in 2021, where it passed the House but died in the Senate.
An Oklahoma bill to "lock the clock" and permanently establish DST in the state was passed in March 2023 by the state senate. If approved by the House, the bill would still require congressional action to take effect.
Oregon legislators passed a bill in 2019 that would keep Oregon on daylight saving time year-round. But there is one caveat: Because it is in the Mountain Time Zone, Malheur County in Eastern Oregon would be the only place in the state that would not follow this plan.
Of course, that's only if Congress repeals the Uniform Time Act of 1966.
The Pennsylvania House narrowly passed a measure in April 2021 to make daylight saving time permanent, pending congressional approval. But the bill failed to gain traction in the senate and died there.
For the 2023 session, State Sen. Scott Martin is re-introducing a resolution urging the federal government to repeal the Uniform Time Act of 1966, allowing states to choose for themselves which time procedure to follow.
Rhode Island's state legislature does not appear to have any current bills related to daylight saving time.
In previous years, the state has floated the idea of joining the Atlantic Standard Time zone similar to proposals in Connecticut and New Hampshire. But those proposals have not made much headway.
South Carolina passed a bill in 2020 to make daylight saving time permanent, but it won't take effect unless there is approval by Congress.
A 2022 House bill that would have established permanent daylight saving time for South Dakota was introduced, but died in committee shortly after.
In 2019, Tennessee implemented a law mandating statewide observance of daylight saving time year-round. Although without Congress changing the law, the state law has no effect.
Texas voters may get to decide if the state should follow daylight saving time in November. A bill in the Texas legislature would have voters in the Nov. 2, 2023 election choose between maintaining the state's adherence to daylight saving time or to become exempt like Arizona and Hawaii.
Signed into law in 2020, Utah's move to permanent daylight saving time is contingent on Congressional approval and at least four other western states also making the move. These can include Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington or Wyoming.
Vermont lawmakers are once again attempting to make daylight saving time permanent in the state with House Bill 329. If the bill makes it out of committee, it will face a vote by the state house before repeating the process in the senate.
The last attempt to change how the state observes daylight saving time was in 2021, when a bill that would have exempted the state from DST failed to make it out of a house committee.
The most recent attempt to move Virginia to year-round daylight saving time failed in January 2023 failed in the state senate after a divided vote on the bill.
Washington state would be on the list of places that don't observe the time change after lawmakers approved permanent daylight saving time in the spring of 2019. It is waiting on Congress.
A bill that would have eliminated daylight saving time in West Virginia — which would have put the state on Eastern time — failed in the house when the 2022 legislative session ended.
The last notable effort in Wisconsin to eliminate daylight saving time was scrapped in 2017 after social media backlash forced the two legislators who authored the bill to walk it back. The Associated Press reported that the pair faced backlash from constituents and even calls from upset relatives.
One of the sponsors, Rep. Michael Schraa, conceded, “This would be a lot better if we just stayed on daylight saving time.”
Wyoming's legislature passed a measure in March 2020 to allow the state to observe year-round daylight saving time if approved by Congress and if three nearby states adopted the same plan. Those states would need to be from: Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota or Utah.
The legislature introduced another bill in 2021 to adopt standard time as the year-round measure instead. It didn't pass.