Nov 4, 2022 - News

Daylight saving time in Colorado is far from being permanent

Illustration of a clock moving backwards. The hands of the clock are made out of the Axios logo.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

The effort to make daylight saving time permanent in Colorado and nationwide is moving ahead, but it's still far from reality.

Driving the news: The annual ritual of turning back the clock one hour is upon us, as daylight saving time ends Sunday.

Flashback: Earlier this year, the Colorado Legislature approved a bill with bipartisan support making daylight saving permanent if federal legislation approves it.

Between the lines: Colorado's law was written with a caveat that at least four other states in the Mountain Standard time zone need to approve similar bills before the switch can take effect.

  • Utah, Montana and Wyoming all passed similar bills over the past two years.
States with year-round daylight saving time trigger laws
Reproduced from NCSL; Map: Axios Visuals

Yes, but: Idaho's legislature passed two bills in 2020 related to daylight saving time.

  • One made would make it permanent in the northern portion of the state — which sits in the Pacific time zone — if neighboring Washington did the same; the second exempted Idaho from any federal law allowing states to make daylight saving time permanent.

Reality check: Southern Idaho — which is on Mountain Standard Time — would need to switch to daylight saving time in order for Colorado to make it permanent. But that can't happen because of the Idaho exemption.

  • "It's very bizarre," University of Idaho College of Law professor Linda Jellum tells Axios Denver.

That leaves Arizona — which proudly doesn't observe daylight saving time — and New Mexico as states that would need to pass similar laws to make it a constant in Colorado.

Zoom in: For years, Colorado's multibillion-dollar ski industry has balked at attempts to make daylight saving time permanent, suggesting it would mean late sun rises in December and January that could impact operations and resort hours.

  • "It's almost as if … they think I'm shortening the time in the day," then-state Sen. Greg Brophy (R), sponsor of the bill to extend daylight saving time year-round, told the Vail Daily in 2011.

Threat level: Concerns about negative health implications due to annual time-shifting run the gamut from disrupting children's sleep cycles to increasing the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes.

The bottom line: We're still a ways away from making either daylight saving or standard time permanent in Colorado.

  • Until then, just try to enjoy the extra time.
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