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Eye On Boise

Bill to end time changes in Idaho runs into problem: It’s illegal, putting state on permanent daylight saving time

House Majority Leader Mike Moyle’s bill to end the twice-a-year daylight saving time changes in Idaho has run into a problem: By engineering the change to occur on July 1, it would put Idaho into permanent daylight saving time, rather than permanent standard time. And that’s not an option for states under federal law. “That’s what I’m working on right now,” Moyle said this morning. “I’m here with the staff – we’re trying to run it to ground.”

His original intent this year was to put Idaho on permanent daylight saving time, Moyle said. “Last time we did the standard, this time we did the other. The intent was I don’t care which one it is, to get it out there and get a resolution. … The problem is half want one, half want the other. Right now we’ll find out if it’s federally legal to do what we’re talking about.”

The problem likely will derail the bill for this year, Moyle said, “I would assume, because of the disagreement on each side on whether to forward or go back,” but he said he’ll keep working on it and likely be back with another proposal, if not this year, then next year. Moyle also proposed legislation last year to end daylight saving time in Idaho, but it didn’t pass.

Ray Harwood of TimeZoneReport.com, which reports on time zone issues nationwide and opposes seasonal time changes, pointed out the legal problem. “Federal statute 15 USC 260a will prevent Year-Round DST from becoming a reality,” Harwood wrote in an email to Moyle and House Ways & Means Chairman Christy Perry, R-Nampa. “Currently the U.S. Code relating to ‘Standard Time’ gives states only two options: by default states will observe Daylight Standard Time starting the second Sunday in March and end the first Sunday in November, or a state can elect to not adjust it’s time from its ‘standard time zone’ offset from UTC.  Adopting Year-Round DST is not an option.”



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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