WHAT IT DOES
- 1st, if the U.S. government amends federal law to allow states to set their own time preference.
- 2nd, if all the states bordering Arkansas intend to adopt Daylight Saving Time permanently.
If both of those conditions are met (it becomes legal and all our neighboring states do it), then the Secretary of State will notify state officials and the state will observe Daylight Saving Time permanently.
The US Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act in 2021, which would do just what Rep. Rye’s bill seeks to do – make Daylight Saving Time permanent.
That bill must still be approved by the US House and be signed by President Joe Biden to become law. The Department of Transportation is scheduled to complete a study on the effects of the change on Dec 21, 2023, making it unlikely the federal bill will be decided before 2024.
Past State Efforts
Representative Rye filed a similar bill in 2021. That bill passed out of Committee and was passed by the House of Representatives with 71 voting for it. However, the bill was never heard in Senate committee and died at the end of the session.
In 2019, former Representative Sarah Capp filed a bill to do away with Daylight Saving Time and adopt year-round Standard Time. She ended up withdrawing that bill, and the House instead passed a resolution calling upon the federal government to allow states to permanently set their time forward by 1 hour.
In 2015, Representative David Meeks also ran a bill seeking to exempt Arkansas from Daylight Saving Time. The bill passed out of committee in the House but failed on a floor vote in the House, with 11 voting for and 69 voting against.