DENVER — Colorado voters may get the chance to stop changing their clocks twice a year after the Colorado Title Board approved a citizen’s initiative that would keep the state on Daylight Saving Time year-round.
Colorado would follow California and Florida in the change. Arizona, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands all remain on Standard Time year-round.
Former eastern Colorado State Sen. Greg Brophy, the author of the initiative, said changing the clocks twice a year brings no benefits and tremendous costs to the state.
“The spring ahead time change is directly linked to more heart attacks and car accidents,” Brophy said. “Myriad other health problems and just the unpleasantness of having to get kids up an hour before they have been rising.”
The ballot title reads: “A change to the Colorado Revised Statues concerning making the year-round standard time in Colorado Daylight Saving Time that is one hour later than United States Mountain Standard Time.”
It will ask voters to remain on Daylight Saving Time year-round instead of falling back to Standard Time every fall.
Currently, states that practice Daylight Saving Time move their clocks forward an hour in March every year and fall back in November. Those opposed to the practice say it causes sleep disruptions and a jet-lag feeling for days.. Some also don’t like the idea of sending children to school in the dark during winter months.
Brophy said he chose Daylight Saving Time over Standard Time for two reasons.
“Colorado is on the eastern edge of a time zone, so we more closely line up with the time we observe for two-thirds of the year,” Brophy said. “Colorado is a state full of out-doorsey people. We love our longer evenings for hikes, runs and bike rides. Further, the outdoor entertainment industry would lose out on business if we cut short our evenings in the summer. Fewer weddings, tours etc.”
The topic has been debated for years in the Colorado General Assembly. Many versions of the idea have failed consistently for years, including keeping Colorado on Standard Time year-round.
According to TimeAndDate.com, the practice stared in Germany in 1916 to save energy during WWI. In 1966, the United States adopted the Uniform Time Act. However, states were allowed to opt out.
The idea behind Daylight Saving Time is to conserve the use of indoor lighting in spring and summer months when temperatures are higher and energy consumption goes up with air conditioner use.
Brophy said he will now register an issue committee, fund raise, print petitions and organize the signature gathering.
“This issue passed on the ballot state-wide in California in 2018 by 60-40,” Brophy said. “This is a question for the 2020 ballot, so we can choose our 180-day signature gathering period any time between now and next summer. I’m hoping that with Florida and California ahead of us seeking year around DST approval by Congress, that Colorado would spring forward one last time in March of 2021 and never fall back again.”