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Should Colorado Ditch Daylight Saving Time?

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Earlier this week, state Representative Ed Vigil, a Democrat from Fort Garland, told The Pueblo Chieftain he’d like to tweak Daylight Saving Time in Colorado. “People are indoors a lot of the time,” he said. “I myself don’t like to come home from work in the dark. In rural Colorado, the game starts moving around at nightfall, and it turns dangerous on the roads. I think it’s an antiquated way of trying to save energy.”

Now, state Senator Greg Brophy, a Republican from Wray, says he also likes the idea of altering the time change. “We are a very outdoorsy state,” Brophy tells The Denver Post. “People like having that evening time to go outside.” But the two lawmakers disagree on how to achieve their goal. While Brophy would like Colorado to run on Daylight Saving Time year-round, Vigil would like to see the state join Hawaii and Arizona in sticking with standard time the entire year.

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Interestingly, the two lawmakers were each unaware the other had submitted legislation to address Daylight Saving Time, which has been in effect in Colorado since 1966, when the state voted to follow Congress’ lead and reset clocks in the spring (one hour ahead) and fall (one hour back). As far as the two proposals go, Brophy’s seems more problematic, since federal law doesn’t allow states to run on Daylight Saving Time year-round. But, he argues, the federal government may not have the right to tell Colorado what time it is. As for Governor-elect John Hickenlooper, he’s not weighing in just yet. As his spokesman, Eric Brown, tells the Post in an e-mail, “There’s DST [Daylight Saving Time], and then there’s NGT [New Governor Time]. We need to take time to understand the full consequences of the idea.”

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