SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - The time to spring the clocks ahead has arrived. Yes, an hour of sleep will be lost tonight, but there is daylight to gain. Daylight saving time officially begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 10 and lasts until Sunday, November 3. The process of changing clocks back in fall and ahead in spring began during World War I as a way to conserve energy.
Federal regulation of time began in 1918 with the Standard Time Act, which set up the boundaries for the standard time zones in the United States. In 1966, the Uniform Time Act established the current practice of Daylight Saving Time, which runs from March through November. The Energy Policy of 2005 made Daylight Saving Time four weeks longer.
Only Congress or the Secretary of Transportation can make a time-zone adjustments. It is the United States Department of Transportation that is responsible for overseeing time zones as well as Daylight Saving Time.
The Uniform Time Act was passed to bring order to the countries clocks because up until that point each state regulated their own clocks, which lead to a bit of confusion in many spots. However, since the Uniform Time Act was not made mandatory, folks living in Arizona and Hawaii won't have to remember to turn their clock forward an hour before going to bed tonight. US Commonwealths also do not adjust their clocks in fall and spring.
Some states like Florida, Massachusetts and California are exploring legislation to allow Daylight Saving Time to stay in place all year while another handful of states are considering bills about adjustments. Florida's Sunshine Protection Act seeks to keep Daylight Saving Time year-round. The Sunshine Protection Act 2019 is currently awaiting Congressional approval. It cannot go into effect in the Sunshine State unless Washington lawmakers give their stamp of approval. Californians voted on the idea on Election Day last November. The Golden State's voters passed Proposition 7 which seeks to make Daylight Saving Time a mainstay in California. However, just like Florida, the bill requires Congressional approval before it can go into effect.
While the nationwide debate about Daylight Saving Time continues, remember to turn the clocks forward before going to bed this evening. The extra hour of sleep comes back on November 3.