- Associated Press - Saturday, June 21, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Utah residents will have a chance to weigh in on whether they want their state to become the third in the nation to opt out of daylight saving time.

State officials announced Friday that a public forum will be held July 10 at the Clark Planetarium in Salt Lake City to debate whether the state should drop the practice of adjusting its clocks each spring and fall.

It also will be the subject of a rural summit in Cedar City in August.

Supporters of the spring time change say it boosts tourism and gives ranchers and farmers more daylight to complete work. But parents and educators say it has a negative effect on student learning, and public safety officials say it leads to more accidents.

The meetings will explore three options: keeping the current system; aligning with Arizona to stay on Mountain Standard Time year round; or keeping daylight saving time all year.

Arizona and Hawaii are the only states that do not observe daylight saving time.

The Legislature earlier this year passed a bill to order the state to conduct a study and meetings on whether to retain the time changes.

Two supporters of the measure, Rep. Ronda Menlove, R-Garland, and Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, plan to attend.

“Surprisingly, time changes have an economic and educational impact on our state,” Menlove said in a statement. “This issue needs to be properly weighed and debated in order to arrive at the best outcome for the most residents.”

Those who can’t attend the meetings conducted by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development can go online at business.utah.gov/time to express their opinions.

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