COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) – Good morning! Did you “fall back” an hour? A committee of the Ohio House of Representatives has voted to approve a resolution encouraging U.S. lawmakers to make daylight saving time permanent.
House Concurrent Resolution 7 says the benefits of daylight saving time include additional daylight in the evening hours, increased outdoor playtime for children and youth, expanded economic opportunities, energy savings, improved traffic safety and crime reduction.
The U.S. has observed time changes since the early 1900s. In the 1960s, Congress reinstated daylight saving time passing the Standard Time Act. Under the law, states may opt out of observing daylight saving time.
The Emergency Daylight-Saving Time Energy Conservation Act suspended time changes for one-year during the Richard Nixon administration to conserve energy. It ended a year later.
Many falsely believe the change is related to farming, but most really do not completely understand why we still have it at all.
Those include Ohio Representative Bob Peterson of Washington Courthouse, who helped sponsor the resolution.
“Why in the world are we changing this time? It makes no sense, you know, it’s a disruption in our lives,” Peterson said.
“It doesn’t make sense and the disruption and there’s plenty of science and plenty of statistics that show that accidents go up the day after a time change, mental health issues are more challenging the week after time changes and for no economic or societal benefit,” he added.
“We could pass a resolution today to avoid the time change next spring. Ohio has the ability to do that but if Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, our neighboring states don’t follow suit, then we would be eight months of the year, seven months out of the year have a different time than our neighboring states and that doesn’t make any sense,” said Peterson.
Among federal lawmakers in Washington, there have been numerous attempts to do away with the time changes, including the re-introduction of the “Sunshine Protection Act” first introduced by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida in 2018.
After dying in committees, the legislation ultimately passed in the U.S. Senate in March of 2021 but died in the House of Representatives.
It was re-introduced in March of this year and currently has been referred to a Senate committee.
Studies in recent years have linked changing times to an increase in traffic accidents, decreased productivity, difficulties with mental illness and contribute to health problems, including heart attacks because of the disruption of sleep cycles called human circadian rhythms.
Representative Daniel Troy of Willowick is among the minority who voted against the resolution.
“I’ve been around long enough to remember back in 1974 actually the country went to permanent daylight savings time through the Arab oil embargo and it wasn’t well received. There was a lot of complaints about kids out there walking to school or waiting for their school buses because daylight didn’t hit until 8:30, 9 in the morning,” Troy said.
“I just think we should leave things the way they are at this point. It’s just not an issue. I hear a lot from my constituents not like high property taxes. I don’t have people calling me and saying ‘my God, when are you going to make this permanent?'” he added.
The Ohio lawmaker says there is one additional benefit to changing time in the spring and fall, and it is that residents are now familiar with simultaneously changing the batteries in their smoke detectors.
The resolution still must go to the floor of the Ohio House of Representatives and to the Senate for approval.
If it passes the Ohio Legislature, it still has no legislative weight. It is more like a formal request to Congress to support their vote to end time changes.
It is not the first time Ohio legislators have done this. A similar resolution passed in December of 2020, and nearly three years later Congress continues to debate the issue.
“There’s bills both in the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate to do this, so I hope our urging helps move it forward,” said Peterson.