Legislation Would Cancel Daylight Saving Time in North Dakota, Move Whole State to Central Time

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I hate Daylight Saving Time.

I’ve always been a bit of an insomniac anyway, and that time shift always throws me for a loop. It’s been worse with my kids, who also struggle with it. I’ve never understood the point of shifting the time.

If legislation before the North Dakota Legislature passes, North Dakotans might not have to deal with that time change any more.

The bill is SB2167 introduced by Republican Senator Dave Oehlke of Devils Lake (read it in full below). In addition to ending DST in our borders it also pushes the southwestern part of the state into the Central Time Zone:

Interestingly, per a Bismarck Tribune article from last year, most of North Dakota is supposed to be in the Mountain Time Zone. The 1884 International Meridian Conference divided the globe into 24 time zones each taking up 15 meridian degrees.

This graphic shows that the central time zone is supposed to stop just west of the Red River Valley. The shaded blue area shows where the Mountain Time Zone actually begins:

Via the Bismarck Tribune

Per the Tribune, the time zone got gerrymandered by the railroads which wanted to operate on a uniform time system. Which is important even today. As you’ll note in the legislation below, it makes it clear that any change to North Dakota’s time zones and/or daylight savings time would not impact interstate commerce or any federal programs.

As for my preference, I don’t care if we’re in the Central Time Zone or the Mountain Time Zone. I just want our whole state to be in one time zone, and I don’t want to worry about the Daylight Saving Time shift any more.

UPDATE: I had forgotten about this, but a reader points out that Stark County (Dickinson), which is currently in the Mountain Time Zone, voted on switching to central time back in June of 2010. The voters rejected the switch.

Here’s the full legislation:

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from 1-2pm weekdays.

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