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Montana Will Not Scrap Daylight Saving Time

The state of Montana will not pursue the possibility of getting rid of daylight saving time after a bill was rejected.

Illustration image

Glacier National Park in Montana.

©iStockphoto.com/Timothy Eberly

The state of Montana, in the United States, will continue following the nation’s daylight saving schedule after lawmakers rejected a bill for the state to stay on standard time. Earlier in 2009 it looked as if Montana was one step closer towards possibly breaking away from daylight saving time in the future. A bill was drafted for the state’s senate to consider the possibility of Montana being on Mountain Standard Time (MST) all year round.

The Proposed Bill

Senator Terry Murphy recently introduced the bill (SB177) in hope that Montana may no longer need to observe daylight saving time in the future. A provision attached to the bill specifies that if the United States Government enacts a law or regulation relating to daylight saving time adoption by all states, Montana would comply with the rule.

This bill comes in light opinions that were voiced about the state’s daylight saving schedule. One recent example is a web poll targeted at Montana’s residents in late 2008.

It showed that about 40 percent of those surveyed thought daylight saving time was a bad idea, as opposed to nearly 37 percent who thought daylight saving time was a good idea. The remaining votes were divided among those who found daylight saving time a good idea but did not like the changeover (about 16 percent) or those who were unsure (about seven percent).

Montana’s Current Time Zones

Montana observes MST, which is seven hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC-7 hours) during the non-daylight saving period. It observes Mountain Daylight Time (MDT), which is UTC-6 hours, during the daylight saving period.

The state sticks to the same daylight saving schedule that most other parts of the United States observe. This schedule annually runs from the on the second Sunday of March until the first Sunday in November. It is in line with section 110 of the United States’ Energy Policy Act of 2005.

If Montana abandons the daylight saving observance, it will join other states and territories in the United States that do not observe daylight saving time, such as:

  • Hawaii
  • American Samoa
  • Guam
  • Puerto Rico
  • the Virgin Islands
  • Most of Arizona except the Navajo Nation Community.

Some parts of Indiana previously did not observe daylight saving time but the state is now united in observing the schedule despite being split into different time zones.

Future Plans

The proposed bill to end daylight saving time in Montana was brought before the Senate State Administration Committee on January 21, 2009. The committee did not take immediate action on the bill. It was recently reported that lawmakers did not approve the bill.