LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Last Sunday, we changed our clocks for the second time this year. But many Americans favor eliminating the need to do that.
For tonight’s Legal Edge, local attorney Bryan Waldman talks about the laws that created standard and daylight-saving time and potential changes to those laws.
There are a few laws that apply here. The first is the Standard Time Act, which was passed in 1918.
Congress gave the federal government the authority to set a standard time and created the five time zones that exist across the United States. In 1966, Congress passed the Uniform Time Act, which created the system we have now where we change the clocks twice a year. We have standard time and daylight saving time, and the states are required to follow that law.
Now people may be thinking there are two states that the time doesn’t change: Hawaii and most of Arizona. The reason that’s allowed is, they stay on standard time yearround.
There have been federal laws introduced in 2018, 2019, 2021, and even this year, 2023, there was something called the Sunshine Protection Act that was introduced. It actually passed the Senate by a unanimous vote, I believe, but didn’t get anywhere in the House.
There have been similar bills introduced multiple times in Michigan, but they really have gotten no traction. Never even saw the vote of either the full House or the full Senate in Michigan.
So as things stand right now, even though it is enormously unpopular that we have to switch our clocks back and forth twice every year, there doesn’t seem to be a legislative fix. At least in the short-term, even though it is gaining some traction both in state and federal government, and certainly public opinion.