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Powell Elections

Powell Rep. Dan Laursen poses at the Gestalt Studios in Powell.

Wyomingites would be on daylight saving time year-round if a bill before the state Legislature becomes law.

Rep. Dan Laursen of Powell said daylight saving time lasts seven and a half months a year, while standard time lasts just four and a half months. The time changes are exhausting, he said, and people are less productive when adjusting.

“In the springtime, we move the clocks forward, and in the fall, we move them backwards,” the Republican said. “And I don’t like moving them. Pick a time and stick with it, because it’s hard on everyone. It’s hard on students, hard on the elderly and even hard on me.”

During the final days of daylight saving time, the sun rises and sets later. Then time switches to standard, and the sun rises and sets earlier.

“Last year I tried to get rid of daylight savings and go to standard all year,” he said. “And I caught so much heck for it, I thought this might be the way to go.”

Golfers, gardeners and others who enjoy activities in the sunshine disliked the bill eliminating daylight saving time. By the time they would return home from work, it would be too dark to enjoy their hobbies, Laursen said.

This year, Laursen’s bill, House Bill 49, eliminates standard time, which is from November to March.

Federal law requires states to petition the Secretary of Transportation to stay on one time schedule all year. And federal laws mandate states can switch only to standard time. So Laursen’s bill would change Wyoming to the Central time zone and petition the secretary to stay year-round on standard time in the new time zone — a way to essentially give Wyoming daylight saving time, he said.

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In addition to Laursen, HB49 is sponsored by Republican Reps. Tyler Lindholm of Sundance, Robert McKim of Afton and David Miller of Riverton. In the Legislature’s upper chamber, Republican Sens. Cale Case of Lander, Ogden Driskill of Devils Tower and Michael Von Flatern of Gillette are sponsors.

Laursen is optimistic the Legislature will adopt the bill, since the state is on daylight saving time most of the year. He doesn’t know if the transportation secretary would approve the change.

“With our new president, maybe he would,” he said.

“In the spring time, we move the clocks forward and in the fall, we move them backwards. And I don’t like moving them. Pick a time and stick with it because it’s hard on everyone. It’s hard on students, hard on the elderly and even hard on me.” —Rep. Dan Laursen, R-Powell

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Follow political reporter Laura Hancock on Twitter @laurahancock

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