Colorado lawmakers to seek resolution asking Congress to end Daylight Saving Time ritual

 

There isn’t enough coffee in the world to deal with that second Monday in March, after almost every person in the country does the spring switch to Daylight Saving Time (DST).

This year marks 100 years since the nation began that annual, hated-by-some change to spring forward, and lose an hour of sleep. One study said that while people adjust pretty quickly to the “fall back,” and gaining that hour, the body never really adjusts to the spring change.

And you can easily guess what the number one issue was for some Colorado lawmakers this weekend, based on texts, phone calls, emails and messages on Facebook.

Virtually every year since 2011, lawmakers at the state Capitol have tried to find a way to get Colorado off the semi-annual clock switch. From time to time, citizens have also made initial attempts at getting an initiative on the ballot that would either make one or the other (Mountain Standard Time) permanent.

Legislation has failed every time, largely because of complaints from the ski industry. The citizen initiative has never made it onto the ballot, and none are proposed this year, either.

For the ski industry, keeping the state on DST year-round means their employees could end up preparing ski equipment for the day’s activities in the dark in the early part of the season.

This year’s bill at the legislature to put Colorado on one or the other year-round? Non-existent. So far.

It’s not because they’ve given up. Democratic Rep. Dan Pabon of Denver and Republican Rep. Phil Covarrubias of Brighton carried two bills last year, one keeping Colorado on Mountain Standard Time year-round, the other on DST year-round. Both measures failed in a House committee.

Both lawmakers told Colorado Politics they got slammed this weekend with calls, texts, emails and the like from constituents, begging them to do something, anything, about the annual change.

Last week, the Florida House gave final approval to a bill that would keep the Sunshine State on DST year-round. The measure already passed the Senate and now heads to Florida Gov. Rick Scott for signing. Should Scott sign the bill, it will then be up to Congress to sign off as a permanent DST set-up requires Congressional approval. Hawaii, Arizona and Puerto Rico have already abandoned the semi-annual clock switch, or like American Samoa and Guam, never went on it to begin with.

Pabon and Covarrubias believe the issue should be dealt with by Congress, and this week they plan to sponsor a resolution that will ask Congress to address the issue.

“This is an issue that goes far beyond our borders,” Pabon said. “The time change affects all of us, and the chorus against this change is growing every day,” with the Monday after the time change the most meaningful.

Pabon acknowledged that the state could take action but the problem is really a national one. It affects everyone, kids, seniors and everyone in between, and everyone is suffering, he said. “Why do we keep doing this?”

Both lawmakers expect they will have lots of agreement from fellow lawmakers in seeking help from Congress when the resolution comes out.

Whether Congress will act is another matter. A CNN poll in 2017 showed that 55 percent of Americans are fine with the change, with only 13 percent who are really bothered by it.

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