While the skies will remain lighter later in Maryland until clocks fall back in November, more than half the states in the United States are considering legislation related to daylight saving time that could do away with the biannual time change.
Daylight saving time has been in effect in some form since 1918, when it was enacted to conserve fuel during World War I, and Congress passed the Uniform Time Act in 1966 to formalize daylight saving time across time zones. The period runs from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November.
But 26 states are questioning the need to change the clock twice a year, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Maryland isn’t one of them, but more states than ever before are considering changes to daylight saving time since the group began tracking the issue five years ago, according to the organization.
Maryland legislators have not proposed changes to daylight saving time since at least 1996, according to the Maryland General Assembly’s Department of General Services.
Under federal law, states are allowed to opt out of daylight saving time in favor of observing standard time year-round. Arizona (except the Navajo nation) and Hawaii are the only states that currently stick to standard time throughout the year, in addition to a few U.S. territories.
At least nine other states are pursuing legislation this year that would keep them on standard time year-round.
The reverse — enacting daylight saving time year-round — is prohibited under federal law. But at least eight states are pursuing legislation that would allow them to do so, and federal bills were introduced by Florida legislators in both houses that would make daylight saving time the new standard.
Legislators in three states have introduced bills supporting both approaches.
Although states are not allows to enact daylight saving time all year, the idea has backing from the executive branch. President Donald Trump said in a tweet he would support switching to daylight saving time year-round.