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Bill creates Montana Standard Time

Under the bill, Montanans would set their clocks back an hour this November, then keep it that way. (Martin Kidston/Missoula Current)

By Cole Grant/UM Legislative News Service

HELENA – Daylight saving time just made its annual return to most Americans’ lives this past weekend.

But state Sen. Ryan Osmundson, R-Buffalo, passed a bill through the Senate 36-14 last month that would exempt Montanans from adjusting their clocks. Instead, the state would follow Montana Standard Time.

There was bipartisan support and opposition on the Senate floor. Now, the House State Administration Committee will hear Senate Bill 206 on Tuesday.

“We pretend it’s earlier, so we get up earlier, and then in the fall we pretend it’s later, so we get up later. The sun doesn’t move, we just move our clocks and enjoy the hassle of ‘what time is it now?’ ” Osmundson said at the Senate State Administration committee hearing in February.

Under the bill, Montanans would set their clocks back an hour this November, then keep it that way.

There was mild opposition to the bill in committee from Spook Stang with the Motor Carriers of Montana. He says the change could throw off logistics for pick-up and delivery times.

“Because you might start in one state at 8 o’clock in the morning, and then get to the next state and it’s only 7 o’clock, they might not even be open yet,” Stang said.

According to energy.gov, daylight saving time was put in place to help reduce electricity consumption in buildings.

Germany was the first country to implement daylight saving time in order to conserve resources during World War I.

America followed suit in 1918, and again during World War II. Between then and 1966, there was no federal law regulating it.

The Uniform Time Act came into play in 1966. It put all participating states on the same daylight saving schedule.

Arizona, minus the Navajo Nation, does not observe daylight savings time. Neither does Hawaii.

Cole Grant is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.