When legislation was introduced this year to opt North Dakota out of Daylight Saving Time, and move the whole state to the central time zone, it got a lot of attention.
But what started loudly ended quietly in the state Senate today. On an 11-33 vote, with no floor debate, the Senators killed SB2167.
The bill received a 6-0 “do not pass” recommendation in the Senate’s Transportation Committee, and while I hate DST and like the idea of the whole state being on the same time zone, it’s easy to understand why this legislation didn’t get any traction.
Senator Tom Campbell, a Republican from Grafton, laid it out carrying the committee’s recommendation to the Senate floor. He said that opting out of DST would create a time conflict for the state’s border cities. That would be communities like Fargo and Grand Forks and the Red River Valley in general, where a disproportionate number of our state’s citizens live. Those folks didn’t want an hour difference with Minnesota.
Meanwhile, in southwestern North Dakota, most of the people there like being on the Mountain Time Zone. When localities in that part of the state have put the time zone choice to a vote, majorities have backed Mountain Time. Which is actually what most of the state of North Dakota is supposed to be on anyway (see the graphic below).
So there were pretty sound arguments against this from both the east and the west, and that means we’re sticking to the status quo.