Maryland legislators have proposed legislation to potentially eliminate the practice of Daylight Saving Time in the state of Maryland. Delegate Brian Crosby (D-29B) and Senator Justin Ready (R-5) have both proposed similar bills to keep Maryland on Eastern Daylight time year-round.
The jump to and from Daylight Saving Time is set federally by the Uniform Time Act.
According to the Department of Transportation, who oversees time zones because of their impact on travel, the Uniform Time Act and Daylight Saving Time is intended to help communities. The extra hour of light saves energy, prevents traffic injuries and deaths, and reduces crime.
Maryland’s bill would keep Maryland on Eastern Daylight Time, giving the state the additional hour of sunlight all year long. However, the bills proposed are reliant on amendments of the Uniform Time Act.
The Uniform Time Act allows states to exempt themselves from participating in the moving forward and moving back of Daylight Savings Time, but does not allow states to choose to permanently observe Daylight Saving Time hours. Hawaii and most of Arizona do not observe Daylight Saving Time, according to the Department of Transportation.
As such, the bills proposed reflect the need to change federal law. If voted into law, the legislation would only go into effect if the Uniform Time Act was amended to allow such a change or repealed overall.
Thirty-nine states have proposed legislation to change their observance of Daylight Saving Time in some way, according to the Congressional Research Service. Three of those states passed permanent Daylight Saving Time legislation similar to the bills proposed in Maryland: Florida, Washington, and Tennessee.
Senator Ready’s bill on permanent Daylight Saving Time is planned to be heard in committee on March 5.