SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


House Passes Bill Exempting Alaska From Daylight-Saving Time
Bill Moved to Alaska State Senate for discussion


April 13, 2009

(SitNews) -The Alaska State House recently passed a bill that would exempt Alaska from observing daylight-saving time. House Bill (HB) 19, sponsored by Representative Anna Fairclough (R-Eagle River), was passed by the House on March 27, 2009.

In 1983, with congressional approval, Alaska consolidated its five time zones into two. This was done to better consolidate Alaska's communities and to enable better public services. Alaska Standard Time (AST) now covers most of the state, with only a few Aleutian Islands in the Hawaiian-Aleutian Time Zone. AST is one hour earlier than Pacific Standard Time and four hours earlier then Eastern Standard Time.

Rep. Fairclough sponsored this legislation in response to a number of concerns from constituents and other Alaskans regarding daylight-saving time. Her office has spent the interim and beginning of this legislative session researching the issue and asking for input from Alaskans.

In a recent news release, Rep Fairclough said is clear, from two statewide polls done in 2004 and 2005, that a strong majority of Alaskan's statewide favor the repeal of DST for a variety of reasons.

"The vote in the House shows that we recognize the health risks that come from changing the clocks twice a year," Fairclough said. "With the support of the House on record, we will go back to our communities and ask them to continue the discussion. It is important that we have a dialogue about the communication issues businesses may face if we discontinue DST in Alaska."

In a recent article by Charles Q. Choi stated, "Springing forward may both end and save lives. Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and their colleagues looked at myocardial infarction rates in Sweden since 1987 and found that the number of heart attacks rose about 5 percent during the first week of daylight saving time (called summer time in Europe). In the October 30, 2008, New England Journal of Medicine, they suggest that this rise may result from the disruption of sleep patterns and biological rhythms."

Representative Cathy Muñoz (R -House District 4 - Auke Bay) co-sponsored the bill.

HB 19 has moved to the Alaska State Senate for consideration.

Daylight Savings Time was an idea that originated as an American domestic policy during World War I to save energy.


On the Web:

Full Text of HB 19

Bill History/Action


Source of News:

House Majority Press


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Ketchikan, Alaska