Daylight Saving Time could be on the ballot in Utah in 2018

SALT LAKE CITY -- It's one of the things lawmakers hear the most from constituents about. Some say it eclipses weightier issues like health care, taxes or education.

Every year, lawmakers are blitzed with gripes about Daylight Saving Time. People complain about the changing of the clocks or the loss of sleep in the spring.

"If I asked all my constituents, 'What are your top five issues?' This would be on everybody's list," said Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo.

Dozens of cuckoo clocks on display at Mt. Olympus Clock Shop in Holladay. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

Dozens of cuckoo clocks on display at Mt. Olympus Clock Shop in Holladay. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

For years now, lawmakers have proposed bills to opt out of it, joining Arizona and Hawaii. Yet every year, it becomes the least important bill for the Utah State Legislature. They've got a multi-billion dollar budget and heavier issues to consider. When they do get around to the bill, lawmakers -- ironically -- run out of time to vote on it.

Thurston is the latest lawmaker to take on Daylight Saving Time, proposing to put the issue up to a public vote in 2018.

"Let's find out once and for all what our citizens want us to do and then we'll live with their decision," he said in an interview Thursday with FOX 13.

If it passes (like a state survey conducted years ago indicates it would), Utah would join Arizona in opting out of the semi-annual clock switch. We would fall behind and stay behind, meaning it would be lighter earlier in the morning and darker in the evening. Thurston said to spring ahead and stay ahead requires action by U.S. Congress.

Ending Daylight Saving Time has faced opposition from Utah's agricultural, ski and golf industries, who have claimed they would lose millions each year. Thurston argues that there's still the same hours of daylight, it just shifts slightly.

Grandfather clocks on display in Mt. Olympus Clock Shop in Holladay. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

Grandfather clocks on display in Mt. Olympus Clock Shop in Holladay. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

"Energy policies have changed, technology has changed," he said. "There's ways of working around this."

At Mt. Olympus Clock Shop, they're gearing up for Daylight Saving Time, which is actually a boost in business. People trying to change their clocks bust antique grandfather clocks or can't figure out how to set their watches. They also spend time setting and inspecting hundreds of clocks in their Holladay shop.

"Monday morning is pretty busy for us," Joseph Recksiek said of the calls that come in from people who need help.

Aaron Recksiek, a master watchmaker, said he'd keep Daylight Saving Time, but acknowledged it's business. Joseph Recksiek said he'd get rid of it.

"I think it'd be nice if we didn't have to change our clocks twice a year," he said.