Montana is currently in “Daylight Saving Time,” but on Sunday, November 3rd, Standard Time will once again be implemented, and clocks will “fall back” one hour.
The change officially occurs at 2 a.m. on that date.
The NASA website explains the origin of Daylight Saving Time:
In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed an act into law whereby Daylight Saving Time begins on the last Sunday of April and ends on the last Sunday of October each year. However, any State can opt out of Daylight Saving Time by passing a State law. Hawaii does not observe Daylight Saving Time and neither does Arizona (although the Navajo Nation, in northeastern Arizona, does). For many years, most of Indiana did not observe Daylight Saving Time with the exception of 10 counties. Beginning in 2006, all of Indiana now observes Daylight Saving Time.
Until 2007, the return to Standard Time occurred on the last Sunday of October, but in 2005, Congress changed the date to the first Sunday of November.
The next “ spring forward ” will occur on Sunday, March 8, 2020.
Some people enjoy the twice-yearly ritual of tinkering with time, feeling that “springing forward” or “falling back” helps to usher in a more seasonal atmosphere. Other people, however, don’t like the idea of trying to trick our bodies and our daily routines by adjusting the clocks.
In February, a Montana Senate panel killed a bill that would have asked Montana voters whether they want to end daylight-saving time in the state.
“Staying on Mountain Standard Time would just not work for a state as far north as Montana,” said Sen. Bryce Bennett, D-Missoula, who initially tried to amend the bill to ask Congress if Montana could have daylight-saving time year-round. “I thought it would be good to stick with the one that we’re on eight months out of the year.”
States can choose whether to have daylight-saving time for part of the year, but can’t do it year-round without congressional approval.
Montana currently has daylight-saving time from March through October, when clocks are turned an hour ahead of Mountain Standard Time.
Sen. John Esp, R-Big Timber, the sponsor of SB153, said last week that people in his district said they preferred having one time year-round. The bill would have placed a referendum on the 2020 general election ballot, asking Montana voters whether they wanted to go to Mountain Standard Time for the entire year.
Opponents, however, said daylight-saving time in Montana helps the tourism industry and children’s sporting events and practices, providing an extra hour of daylight in the spring, summer and early fall.
The committee also deadlocked on Bennett’s attempt to amend the bill Wednesday, to ask Congress to allow Montana to have daylight-saving time year-round.
Even those who favored going to one year-round time said Congress wouldn’t do anything about it.
Sen. Ryan Osmundson, R-Buffalo, said the bill should advance and give people the chance to vote on the issue.
On the final vote Wednesday, two Republicans – Sens. Dee Brown of Hungry Horse and Mike Cuffe of Eureka – and two Democrats – Bennett and Sen. Janet Ellis of Helena – voted against the bill.
Three Republicans – Osmundson and Sens. Gordon Vance of Bozeman and Doug Kary of Billings – and Sen. Frank Smith, D-Poplar, voted for it.
That was not the first attempt by Montana legislators to make the change. Osmundson introduced a bill in the Legislature in 2017 to exempt Montana from the time-change; the bill died in committee.
And in the 2011 Legislature, MT State Representative Kris Hansen (R-Havre) introduced a similar proposal to take Montana off of the time-changing standard. The proposal stated: “The state of Montana rejects switching between standard time and daylight saving time and elects to remain on daylight saving time in Montana throughout the year.” The bill was tabled in committee and no further action was taken.