Kentucky Committee Resets Daylight Saving Time Debate

Jan 23, 2020

Tired of gaining hours and losing hours thanks to Daylight Saving Time? So are some Kentucky lawmakers. Their attempt to do away with the semi-annual switch, however, faces major legal hurdles. 

Credit AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

House Bill 19 would see Kentucky join dozens of other states interested in making Daylight Saving Time permanent. It's a movement embodied in social media hashtags like #DitchTheSwitch and #LockTheClock. But there's a problem -- federal law allows states to opt out of DST altogether, but states that remain on daylight saving time must stick to the federally-mandates dates.

Rep. Jerry Miller said the current Kentucky proposal would act like a trigger law, moving the state to permanent daylight saving time if Congress ever okays the action.

"We're working through the constitutional issues about how legal is that," the Louisville Republican explained.

For now, the issue is back in the hands of state lawyers, and Miller says the bill may morph into a resolution calling on the federal government to grant states the leeway to lock in daylight saving time.

"It's not ready to come out of the oven yet," the representative adds.

Proponents argue there are economic and health benefits while opponents worry darker mornings could have negative impacts on safety.