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Daylight savings in Arkansas: Efforts to end clock changes

Arkansans face losing an hour of sleep as daylight saving time approaches. Efforts to change time laws in the state fail.

Arkansas residents are gearing up to lose an hour of sleep as daylight saving time approaches on March 10. This biannual tradition brings later sunsets but also means later sunrises for the Natural State. While Arkansas is one of 48 states that participate in this time change, there have been several attempts by lawmakers to eliminate daylight saving time in the state.

State Representative Sarah Capp introduced House Bill 1368 in 2019 to adopt year-round standard time, but the bill was withdrawn shortly after. In contrast, Rep. Johnny Rye proposed House Bill 1017 in 2020 to implement daylight saving time year-round, which passed the House but ultimately failed in a Senate committee meeting. Rye made another attempt in 2022 with House Bill 1039, but it was also withdrawn. Rep. Stephen Meeks and Rep. R. Scott Richardson made additional attempts in 2023 to eliminate daylight saving time, but both bills were withdrawn shortly after being filed.

The debate over standard time versus daylight saving time continues, with experts like Dr. Beth Malow advocating for permanent standard time due to its potential health benefits. However, a CBS News poll in 2022 showed mixed opinions among the public, with some preferring daylight saving time for its perceived mood-boosting and energy-saving effects.

Ultimately, the fate of daylight saving time in Arkansas remains uncertain as residents continue to adjust their clocks twice a year. Despite the ongoing debate, it seems that the tradition of changing the clocks will persist for the foreseeable future.

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