Go Toward the Light: Alabama Governor Signs Daylight Saving Bill, but Congress Will Have to Help

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Some people think Alabama’s behind the times, but the state’s set to prove them wrong — in a phenomenally literal way.

On Thursday, Gov. Kay Ivey lent her John Hancock to a bill putting Bama on permanent daylight-saving time.

She tweeted the news:

Today I signed:

  • SB 193 – This includes supplemental appropriations from the ETF Advancement & Technology Fund to various education entities.
  • HB 437 – the wine shipment bill
  • SB 388 – the Daylight Savings bill

As reported by Al.com, the penning follows near-unanimous support in the state legislature.

House lawmakers favored it 93-1.

As for the Senate, the bill triumphed 29-0.

Upon passage in the lower chamber, Republican Rep. Ritchie Whorton — co-sponsor with Rep. Sen. Steve Livingston — said it’ll make things easier:

“You go from March to November, one sort of time and switching to another time, it’s hard for folks to get used to the change. A lot of people not used to getting up to the morning, running late and having an accident.”

But it isn’t quite yet approved as a practice.

If and when it is, confusion will likely result. Alabama and Mississippi, for instance, would be on the same schedule for part of the year and an hour different during the rest.

Compared to Nevada, the Southeastern home of NASA would mostly be two hours ahead and, for a third of the year, only one.

A shifting difference can’t be said, however, where Arizona’s concerned.

The Grand Canyon State is one of only two states (Hawaii rounds out the pair) that effectively don’t turn back their clocks.

So in the summer, Birmingham would be two hours ahead of Phoenix, which would be on the same time as Las Vegas.

On the other hand, winter would see Nevada add an hour between itself and Arizona, while the couple hours difference between Alabama and Arizona remained the same. Birmingham would then be three hours in advance of Las Vegas.

Perhaps more confusing to some is the fact that any states would choose not to save sunlight year-round.

In case you didn’t know, the United States adopted Daylight Saving Time in 1966 as part of the Uniform Time Act.

‘Til then, each state could create its own form of the practice.

We’ve covered amateur confusion; now — courtesy of Readers Digest — let’s go pro:

Iowa once had 23 different pairs of start and end dates (for DST) throughout the state.

The ’66 law introduced some much-needed conformity.

But later, Arizona and the Brady Bunch’s favorite non-continental state for a cursed vacation opted out.

Hawaii had a good reason: Year ’round, the sun rises and sets at about the same time.

Arizona is similarly sunned.

Both retracted participation by way of a provision in the Act that didn’t require compliance from all states.

But if we needed a bit more complexity: Arizona’s Navajo Nation does observe Daylight Saving Time.

Back to Alabama, its change isn’t yet secured.

All the following have enacted measures to sustain DST:

Florida
Arkansas
Alabama
California
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Idaho
Louisiana
Maine
Ohio
Oregon
South Carolina
Tennessee
Utah
Washington
Wyoming

In order for them to actually ditch Standard Time, Congress will have to make moves.

For Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s part, he — along with a bipartisan bunch — has reintroduced the Sunshine Protection Act.

That legislation would not only allow Alabama to put into effect the new scheme; it would cancel Daylight Saving Time across the board.

“The call to end the antiquated practice of clock changing is gaining momentum throughout the nation,” he said this month.

As for it being out of date, he’s right.

From a fact sheet attached to the bill:

Daylight Saving Time (DST) was enacted in the United States following Germany’s 1916 effort to conserve fuel during World War I and its period of observance has since been lengthened.

Yeah, we can probably let that go.

-ALEX

 

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