Mar 9, 2024 - Politics & Policy

"Spring forward" Sunday with daylight saving time change

Illustration of a person's arm wearing a wristwatch with the face made from a sun.

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The semiannual changing of the clocks takes place this Sunday when most of the country will "spring forward" into daylight saving time.

Why it matters: The political fight to end the twice-yearly time changes isn't over despite stalled legislation that has sat idle since March 2023.

Driving the news: Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.) renewed their push to make daylight saving time permanent ahead of the time change.

  • "We're 'springing forward' but should have never 'fallen back,'" Rubio said in a statement. "My Sunshine Protection Act would end this stupid practice of changing our clocks back and forth."
  • "The antiquated biannual ritual of toggling between times isn't just an inconvenience — it also has very real impacts on our economy, our energy consumption, and our health," Markey said.

The big picture: The national effort to stop the clock changes has failed or stalled in recent years with a lack of support to survive committees.

  • Sleep experts and members of health groups favor standard time over daylight saving time because they say it's more aligned with our body clocks, Axios' Carly Mallenbaum reports.

Flashback: The U.S. first adopted daylight saving time in 1918 as a way to conserve energy.

  • In the 1970s, the last time Congress made daylight saving time permanent, the decision was reversed in less than a year because the early morning darkness proved dangerous for school children and public sentiment changed.

Spring forward 2024: When to change clocks

Zoom in: The official time switch is 2am local time on Sunday, March 10 — clocks are set forward one hour meaning we "lose" an hour — as daylight saving time returns after four months of standard time.

  • Sunrise and sunset will be about one hour later on Sunday than on Saturday.
  • Hawaii and Arizona do not observe daylight saving time except the Navajo Nation in northeastern Arizona.

Daylight saving time used to run from April to October but the Energy Policy Act of 2005 extended it.

  • It now runs from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November.

States pushing to get rid of daylight saving time

At least 30 states have considered or are considering legislation or resolutions related to daylight saving time in 2024, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures legislation tracker.

  • Some proposals under consideration are to institute permanent daylight saving time if Congress moves forward with a federal change.
  • Other proposed changes are to move to permanent standard time, which is allowed by current law.

Between the lines: Federal law says states can unilaterally move to standard time but must have the approval of Congress to adopt year-round daylight saving time.

Fall forward 2024: Next time change

What's next: If federal legislation is not approved, clocks will "fall back" to standard time on Sunday, Nov. 3.

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