Two legislators have proposed bills that would eliminate changing clocks every year to observe Daylight Saving. LIZ GOTTHELF/Journal Tribune

AUGUSTA — Television media are opposed to two bills that would put Maine in daylight saving time year-round.

Daylight Saving Time is the practice of moving clocks ahead one hour in the spring so that daylight lasts later in the day during spring and summer. Clocks are then moved back one hour in the fall.

The practice of moving clocks ahead in the spring and back in the fall was first proposed by Benjamin Franklin but was not tried in the United States until 1918. It was abandoned in 1919 and was reintroduced in the 1940s during World War II as the year-round “War Time,” a way for the country to save energy nationwide.

The Uniform Time Act of 1966 established a uniform daylight time system within time zones. States can enact legislation to opt out, and currently the only states that don’t observe daylight saving time are Arizona and Hawaii.

Two Maine legislators, State Rep. Donna Bailey D-Saco and State Rep. Chris Kessler D-South Portland have proposed bills have that would end the twice-yearly turning of the clocks.

If Maine were to adopt either bill, the net effect would be as if Maine moved its clocks an hour forward in the spring and never changed them back.


Bailey’s bill, LD 885, “An Act Regarding Daylight Saving Time,” would require the state to observe eastern daylight saving time year-round should the U.S. Congress authorize states to do so. For example, if Bailey’s proposal was implemented next year, clocks would “spring ahead” in March 2020 and then would remain in permanent daylight saving mode, and would not fall back or spring ahead again.

Kessler’s bill, LD 144, “An Act To Opt Out of Federal Daylight Saving Time and To Ask the United States Secretary of Transportation To Place the State in the Atlantic Time Zone,” would place Maine in the Atlantic Time Zone and would exempt the state from observing daylight savings time. If Kessler’s proposal was implemented next year, clocks in Maine would move ahead an hour early on in the year to move from the Eastern time zone to the Atlantic time zone, and then would not fall back or spring ahead as daylight saving would not be observed.

Interested parties weighed in on both bills on Monday, the day after clocks “sprung ahead” for daylight savings, at public hearings in Augusta.

Bailey in written testimony, said that should U.S. Senator Marco Rubio’s bill that “ eliminates the insanity of changing our clocks twice a year” be passed, Maine would remain on Eastern time.

Of the handful of people who spoke at the public hearings, the majority represented broadcast media.

Suzanne Goucher, president of the Maine Association of Broadcasters, said should Maine move to Atlantic Standard Time, it would interfere with syndicated broadcasting in the winter.


“During the winter months, the network news would run at 7:30 (p.m.) instead of 6:30 (p.m.), the 11:00 (p.m.) news would run at midnight, and all of your other favorite programs will run an hour later,” she said.

New England Patriots games that currently start at 8:30 p.m. would begin at 9:30 p.m., and would run well past 1 a.m., said Goucher.

“Not only would this be a significant inconvenience to the public, but it would also undoubtedly result in numerous overtired and red-eyed commuters, students, and employees, leading to productivity losses and sub-optimal learning,” said Goucher.

Maine Association of Broadcasters board member J. Morgan Grumbach said such a change would negatively impact advertising for televised live shows, as fewer people will watch these programs if they are on later at night.

Kessler argued in his statement that people are increasingly getting their news and watching programming at their convenience, such as through the internet or DVRs.

Kessler said that numerous studies have shown that changing the clock causes health issues and increases the risk of accidents, and changing the clock has no impact on the reduction of energy use. He said that surveys show that most people would like to get rid of the practice of changing the clocks twice a year.

“Why keep doing something that doesn’t work just because you’ve always done it,” said Kessler.

Staff Writer Liz Gotthelf can be reached at 780-9015 or by email at

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