A bill that could eventually keep Wyoming on Daylight Saving Time year-round narrowly cleared another hurdle on Wednesday and will now move on to the full Wyoming Senate.
The Senate Education Committee approved House Bill 44 on a 3-2 vote Wednesday morning, with Chairman Hank Coe [R-Cody] casting the deciding vote in favor of the measure. Senators Affie Ellis and Lynn Hutchings — both Laramie County Republicans — voted against the bill in committee. Joining Coe in supporting the bill were Senators Chris Rothfuss [D-Albany County] and Bill Landen [R-Natrona County].
In the discussion of the bill, Ellis said she had concerns about what would happen if the Wind River Indian Reservation–which is a sovereign governmental entity separate from Wyoming–ended up on a different time than the rest of Wyoming. Ellis said she has seen a similar situation with the Navajo Nation in Arizona, resulting in missed appointments and ”chaos.”
Ellis also said she thinks the time change issue would be better addressed at the federal level.
But while one of the common arguments for keeping the current time changes in place is that it ”helps farmers,” Brett Moline of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation told the committee that his organization supports the bill.
Moline said the federation doesn’t especially care which time the state stays on (Standard or Daylight Saving), it just wants an end to the time changes.
House Bill 44 would have Wyoming ask the federal government to remain on Daylight Saving Time if the surrounding states of Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Utah pass similar bills.