Governor Gianforte Signs Daylight Saving Bill
Montana and other Western states have passed legislation to make Daylight Saving Time permanent. Sen. Mary McNally, D-Billings, sponsor of Senate Bill, has authorized a permanent Daylight Saving bill. However, like any other relevant legislation regarding time change, it must be approved by the U.S. Department of Transportation to be in effect.
Compared to other states, Montana has moved one step closer to making Daylight Saving Time permanent. This is because Gov. Greg Gianforte has already signed a bill authorizing the move. Although similar proposals have been submitted and then rejected many times, the current Daylight Saving bill had the support of surrounding states.
Six states in the West have passed legislation allowing permanent Daylight Saving Time, including Washington, Oregon, California, Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming. Right now, only four surrounding states are needed to adopt the act. Once they support the bill, a unique time zone will be created, making Daylight Saving Time year-round.
“What’s happened just since 2019, six Western states have passed legislation putting themselves on permanent daily saving time,” McNally stated. “They haven’t all enacted it yet. In some cases, it’s enabling legislation, and that’s what this is. There’s a real movement here of states going in the same direction,” he added.
Rep. Katie Zolnikov, R-Billings, explained that making Daylight Saving Time permanent comes with benefits aside from having more hours of light at the end of the day. According to Zolnikov, residents can shop more when there’s sunlight after work. Not only that but traffic accidents will also decrease to 13%. “We still have to switch back in November, but this aims to unify us with the states around us, and it gives the states the ability to petition the federal government for its own time zone,” Zolnikov stated.