CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming House of Representatives defeated an effort during their Tuesday, March 2 floor session that would have had Wyoming stay on Mountain Standard Time (winter time) year-round.
House Bill 71‘s primary sponsor Rep. John Bear (Campbell County) said that the bill would allow Wyoming to stop “spring” forward and “fall back” without the need to await changes in federal law and in surrounding states.
Governor Mark Gordon signed a bill in 2020 that would have Wyoming observe mountain daylight time year round (the time observed in summer). However, that law would only take effect if the United States Congress were to authorize states to observe daylight savings time year round and if at least four states in the region were to enact similar legislation to stick to mountain daylight time year.
Bear said House Bill 71 would “eliminate an issue that 90% of Americans and Wyomingites hate to deal with every year.”
He said that since the legislation would put Wyoming into the same status as Arizona where Mountain Standard Time has been observed year-round since 1968.
Bear noted that other states are looking at legislation to do away with observing seasonal clock changes. Both Utah and Idaho passed such legislation last year and other states like Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota are considering such legislation in 2021.
Bear said that some studies show that changing clocks may be related to an increase in heart attacks, work place injuries and male suicide rates.
He said the legislature should pass the bill so that Wyoming citizens could see the clock changes stop more rapidly than under the legislation passed in 2020.
Rep. Dan Laursen (Park County), the primary sponsor of the 2020 legislation, said that Wyoming should be patient and wait for other states to pass legislation to stay on Mountain Daylight Time year-round.
“We’re so far along on this to get other states to go to daylight…three others beside us need to join,” he said. Laursen said he thinks such legislation has a good chance of passing in more states this year and that together they could push the federal government to change rules to allow Mountain Daylight to be observed year round.
Laursen said he prefers year-round Mountain Daylight to year-round Mountain Standard because “I’d prefer my daylight to last into the night.”
The House defeated House Bill 71‘ on a vote of 24-31:
- Ayes: ANDREW, BAKER, BANKS, BEAR, BLACKBURN, BURT, CLAUSEN, DUNCAN, FORTNER, GRAY, HAROLDSON, JENNINGS, KNAPP, NEIMAN, OBERMUELLER, OTTMAN, PROVENZA, ROSCOE, SHERWOOD, STYVAR, WILLIAMS, WINTER, YIN, ZWONITZER
- Nays: BURKHART, CONNOLLY, CRAGO, EKLUND, EYRE, FLINTER, HALLINAN, HARSHMAN, HEINER, HENDERSON, HUNT, BARLOW, LARSEN, L, LAURSEN, D, MARTINEZ, NEWSOME, NICHOLAS, O’HEARN, OAKLEY, OLSEN, PAXTON, SCHWARTZ, SIMPSON, SOMMERS, STITH, SWEENEY, WALTERS, WASHUT, WESTERN, WHARFF, WILSON
- Excused: BROWN, CLIFFORD, GREEAR, KINNER, MACGUIRE