Coming soon — it is hoped — is daylight saving time year round.
But not this year. Not this weekend, when clocks will be set back an hour at 2 in the morning on Sunday.
Rep. Dan Ortiz of Ketchikan introduced House Bill 31 this year to eliminate the annual ritual of changing clocks twice a year. It is pending.
Ortiz and Alaska aren’t alone in a desire to make daylight saving time official throughout the year.
Six states have enacted legislation to accomplish that, while 33 others are trying.
The hurdle is that Congress must act to eliminate its prohibition of daylight savings time law for half the year.
Clocks have been changed since federal policy went into effect in 1918 in an effort to save electricity. Since then, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 set federal policy regarding time.
All states but Arizona and Hawaii observe daylight saving time. Federal law allows a state to exempt itself from daylight saving time, but doesn’t allow for permanent observance of daylight saving time. Such an exemption must be approved by a state’s legislature.
In 2018 Florida became the first state to enact a law for permanent observation of daylight saving time. But it is contingent on the change in federal law.
As is Ortiz’ proposed legislation. It stipulates that Congress would have to amend the federal law on or before Dec. 31, 2030, to allow Alaska to observe daylight saving time throughout the calendar year.
So, because Congress hasn’t acted, clocks will be set back on Sunday — once again.