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Utah may study daylight saving time

Published: Monday, Aug. 3 2015 10:02 p.m. MDT

Utah lawmakers are talking about daylight saving time again but not with an eye toward getting rid of the twice-yearly time switch. (Shutterstock) Utah lawmakers are talking about daylight saving time again but not with an eye toward getting rid of the twice-yearly time switch. (Shutterstock)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah lawmakers are talking about daylight saving time again but not with an eye toward getting rid of the twice-yearly time switch.

"This is not a bill to change daylight savings time. This is a bill to talk about the issues surrounding daylight savings time," said bill sponsor Rep. Ronda Menlove, R-Garland.

HB197 calls for the Governor's Office of Economic Development to hold a meeting with those interested and report on the outcome to legislative interim committees for possible study.

The Senate Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Committee endorsed the bill Wednesday and moved it to the Senate floor. It passed the House last week.

"I think this is a good way to get into the issue," said Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, R-Monroe.

Menlove said she's running the bill because older residents and young mothers have told her they have difficulty with the time change.

Lawmakers on the committee wondered what could result from the GOED report.

"The most important outcome is to let the people feel like they're heard," Menlove said.

On Sunday, clocks will be moved ahead one hour for daylight saving time. The federal government established daylight saving time, and only Arizona and one county in Indiana opted out.

Sen. Evan Vickers, R-Cedar City, said some of his constituents, particularly farmers and ranchers, sportsmen and car dealers, like the extra evening light and want to keep daylight saving time year around.

The Utah Farm Bureau studied the issue two years ago when it came up in the Legislature but could not agree on a position.

Okerlund said one of the biggest arguments in his family over the years has been about daylight saving time.

"It's really hard to come to any consensus on that," he said.

Sen. Jim Dabakis, D-Salt Lake City, replied, "In the long history of Dabakis family, this has never, ever come up as an issue. That may be the difference between country folk and city folk. Let's study it. It sounds fun."

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